PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — With businesses around the country shutting down, many are left wondering why public boat ramps are still open.
With beaches closed, many are using public boat ramps as a way to access waterways.
In Bay County, commissioners are only in charge of boat ramps in the unincorporated areas of the county, which are mostly freshwater and on the bays.
Closing the ramps would have to come from an executive order from the board of commissioners.
Bay County General Services Director, Don Murray says boaters still need to stick to the CDC safety guidelines as long as the ramps stay open.
“If you do come out to use the boat ramp try to use your CDC guidelines and make sure that when you’re launching the boat and everything else, everyone is not piled up under each other. There’s no reason to get out of the car if you don’t have to launch right then. And as far as on the waterways, if you’re out there on your own boat sticking to yourself there should be no issue,” said Murray.
As for the waterways, the Coast Guard and Florida Wildlife Conservation are monitoring boaters, making sure that there are life jackets on board for every passenger as well ensuring boats are staying six feet away from one another.