The health and safety of our Marine Board staff and customers is an essential part of our services. To help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, we are reviewing and updating our approach to providing service, while underscoring the Governor’s guidance to “stay home, save lives,” during these changing situations.
Here’s what our customers need to know:
• Services to boaters are available online and the OSMB crew is working. Online services for motorboat title and registration, boater education cards, outfitter, guide and charter registrations, and waterway access permit sales remain available through our Boat Oregon Store. If it’s your first time using the Boat Oregon Store, online self-help is available.
• Our office in Salem is closed for walk-in service, however; for people who have driven to the office for paperwork processing or questions, a dropbox in the main office foyer is set up to drop off paperwork and a staff member will follow up with a phone call. We take pride in providing excellent service and are continuing to do so as best we can during this time. We are anticipating delays in mail service and paper transactions with staff working remotely. The best and most efficient way to complete transactions is online.
• All OSMB meetings are being held via teleconference or being rescheduled.
• Many OSMB staff are currently teleworking or may have different work schedules. Contacting us via email at email@example.com helps ensure timely receipt of your inquiry. Additionally, staff is available by phone. Visit the agency directory.
• Check the BoatOregon.com website for FAQs on safety, regulations and administrative information.
People may still go outside for recreation where social distancing can be maintained Since the Marine Board does not own or operate any boating access facilities, check with the facility provider if the boat ramp is open. This is especially important on rivers for take-in and take-out sites. State Parks close on Monday, which includes boating access.
To find facility owner contact information and to check on the status of a boating access site, visit the Marine Board’s interactive Boat Oregon Map. Be advised that the open/closed facility status is not up to date as closures are happening quickly.
“Boating is so much a part of how many of us connect to friends, family and the outdoors that it is difficult to think about changing our boating behavior during these difficult times,” says Director Larry Warren. “Boaters have a longstanding tradition of helping each other when things go wrong. When a pan-pan call goes out, we know that the first thing to do is to ensure our own boat is ready and safe and then respond to the emergency as we are able. I am asking my fellow boaters to do the same thing as they think about boating during this time.”
Not only is it important to follow the latest COVID-19 guidelines, but to not be complacent with boating safety. The waterways are very cold, so wearing a life jacket should be automatic. Oregon’s first recreational boating fatality occurred over the weekend on Devil’s Lake. A life jacket would have prevented this tragedy. 2019 Incident and fatality data is now available on the agency’s website.
The Oregon Health Authority continues to be the primary resource on COVID-19: https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19.
Visit Governor Kate Brown’s website for COVID-19 information and additional resources.