About Our Office
The Dartmouth Harbormaster Office and Waterways Department is responsible for
the supervision and management of 81 miles of Town coastline. Dartmouth waterways
are home to over 1,200 local vessels and 1,120 moorings. Each season we host
several thousand additional boaters in our Harbor and along our shores.
The Harbormaster and Staff are responsible for enforcement of all local, state and federal Rules and Regulations pertaining to our waterways. Our Department works cooperatively with other public safety officials on all governmental levels to ensure the safe, enjoyable, and readily available transit of our navigable waters.
All annual mooring permits for Dartmouth waters are issued solely by the Harbormaster. The Department is responsible for maintaining and regulating the use of town owned properties which provide public waterways access. Generating new opportunities for enhanced public water access along the Dartmouth coastline is a principal goal for the Waterways Department and the Waterways Management Commission.
This Office continues the long-standing tradition of rendering assistance and guidance to mariners based in, or passing through Dartmouth waters. This service is extended to commercial as well as recreational boaters who find themselves or their vessels in difficulty within the reach of Dartmouth’s extensive navigable waterways. Protection and surveillance is provided on a year round, 24/7 basis. Our services are summoned through direct VHF Channel 09 radio contact, telephone, or police control dispatch.
The Department is operated independently of the Town General Fund, as a self-sustaining, user-fee based Enterprise Fund. Operational funding is obtained through waterways user fees, a portion of vessel excise taxes, mooring registration fees, and Apponagansett Landing launch permits. Additional funding for specific Department projects or particular office functions has traditionally been derived from state and federal grant programs.
Participation in the Federal Clean Vessel Act pump-out program, and enforcement of the “no-discharge” designation for all Dartmouth waterways, resulted in the removal of over 10,000 gallons of vessel waste in Calendar year 2004. Extraction of significant quantities of effluent and diversion to municipal waste treatment positively contributes to the restorative efforts of local fisheries, wildlife habitats, and overall revitalized water quality.
The Harbormaster is also the designated oil spill coordinator for hazardous threats to the marine environment. Through town Executive action, the Harbormaster and Assistants are also designated as Assistant Dartmouth Natural Resource Officers. Where the primary regulatory territory for each role is upon the town waterways, the cooperation between these divisions delivers efficient public service and protection.
VHF: Channel 09
Cell (Emergency Only):
Some of our staff: Julian, Stephanie, Marty, Steve T., Steve M.
See our Services page for more information about the services we provide.