New Smyrna to reopen public boat ramps Friday with restrictions

The City of New Smyrna Beach is rolling back restrictions at public boat ramps. 

Late last month, commissioners made the call to close ramps in an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

“The concern at the time was that we would have boaters and other recreational seekers coming from outside of Volusia County into New Smyrna Beach,” said city spokesperson Phillip Veski.

At a virtual meeting this week, city leaders voted to reopen the ramps effective Friday, April 17 with restrictions. 

Veski said only residents who live in Florida Inland Navigation District or FIND counties are allowed to use the ramps. Volusia, Flagler and Brevard are FIND communities.

“The boat ramp reopening is not indefinite. It only extends until May 15, and again there is that caveat for the city manager to close them with immediate effect should we see the guidelines are not being followed,” explained Veski.

The city said it will have strict enforcement in place along with monitoring for illegal parking. Boaters are required to follow FWC’s order of no more than 10 people per boat and vessels 50 feet apart.

Andy White works at New Smyrna Bait and Tackle near the public ramp on the causeway. He hopes boaters follow the rules.

“Get out on the boat, out in the ocean, and abide by those rules,” he said.