Capacity Restrictions on Queen Anne’s County Beaches
At their last meeting, the Commissioners voted to implement residency restrictions for access to Matapeake Beach and the beaches at Terrapin and Ferry Point Nature Preserves during periods of overcrowding that has occurred on summer weekends during COVID. As these facilitates were acquired with funds from Program Open Space, the narrowly tailored restriction was subject to approval from the Department of Natural Resources. Without approval from DNR, the County’s access to additional Program Open Space funding could be withheld from future projects. Pending that approval, the County began to enforce capacity-only restrictions at these locations. The capacity-only restrictions do not fully address the health issues that a residency-based restriction would afford. Nonetheless, deployment of the capacity restrictions has helped to mitigate the impact of mass gathering at these locations. The County is hopeful that given the public health concerns raised by COVID, DNR will release some reasonable guidelines to allow local jurisdictions to better control access to Program Open Space facilities that attract mass gatherings during COVID, including residency restrictions. We encourage citizens to reach out to the DNR to express your views on such guidelines.
This weekend, County Staff will be on site at all three locations: Ferry Point, Terrapin and Matapeake monitoring capacity. Once capacity is reached, additional visitors will not be permitted on the beach until capacity allows. With careful calculation to include social distancing measures the beaches have the following capacities:
Ferry Point – 200
Terrapin – 700
Matapeake – 250
If someone arrives to one of these locations and capacity has been reached they may wait in their vehicle for someone to leave or choose to try another location. To find out more about all the things you can do in Queen Anne’s County visit visitqueenannes.com
All parks, beaches, piers and landings are open from sunrise to sunset daily. For more information about the county beaches and Parks facilities, visit qac.org and type “Parks and Recreation” in the search bar.