Mooring Buoys
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HOW DO I GET PERMISSION TO INSTALL A MOORING BUOY OR BOAT LIFT?

 
As steward of state-owned aquatic lands, DNR is responsible for ensuring the protection of the marine environment and for protecting navigational and public safety. Those looking to install a mooring buoy or boat lift on state-owned aquatic lands need authorization from DNR as well as permits from other agencies, depending on the location. 
 
Residential landowners whose property abuts state aquatic lands may use a recreational mooring buoy for free, but must still register the buoy with DNR and make sure the installation meets local zoning requirements. A mooring buoy qualifies for free use if the conditions meet all of these criteria:
  • The applicant owns residential property next to state-owned shorelands, tidelands, or related beds of navigable waters (other than harbor areas)
  • The moored boat is used for private recreational purposes
  • The moored boat is not more than sixty (60) feet in length
  • The area being used for the buoy is not subject to prior rights
  • The mooring buoy will not obstruct use of previously authorized mooring buoys
  • The mooring buoy is located on state-owed aquatic lands, but as near to the shore of residence as practical
  • All applicable local, state, and federal rules and regulations have been met.​
 
Some mooring system designs have the potential to damage underwater lands and marine vegetation around the buoy. See our Mooring Buoy Brochure for help selecting a system that best suits your area or contact a DNR Land Manager near you. 
 
EXCEPTION

Quartermaster Harbor Mooring Buoy Authorization

DNR has established special fields of mooring buoys in Quartermaster Harbor. Those wishing to moor in Quartermaster Harbor will need to use a different application form