Yesterday, a story was published in the Detroit News initially indicating that boating had been banned in Michigan. As we have been advised by the Michigan Boating Industries Association, that story was later updated and corrected — boating is not banned in Michigan. Read the latest update of the Detroit News Story by clicking here.
The MBIA worked quickly with the Governor’s Office and the DNR to help get accurate information published. This resulted in some boating questions being clarified on the Governor’s Executive Order FAQ page. Here is the text of that clarification:
Q: Does boating constitute “outdoor activity” under Executive Order 2020-21?
A: Yes. Boating falls within the outdoor activities permitted under the order. Any outdoor activity, including boating, must be done in a manner consistent with social distancing, and individuals should use only their own equipment to prevent the transmission of the virus through the touching of shared surfaces. Additionally, in accordance with section 2 of the order, persons not part of a single household may not boat together.
While boating is permitted under the order, the provision of boating services or supplies does not itself constitute critical infrastructure work. Accordingly, marinas, canoe liveries, and other similar businesses and operations may not designate workers to come to work for that purpose. As needed, however, these businesses and operations may designate workers to leave their home for work if their in-person presence is strictly necessary to conduct the minimum basic operations listed in section 4(b) of the order. Minimum basic operations do not include serving members of the public, but do permit work necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of sites otherwise open to the public for outdoor recreation. All in-person work permitted under the order must be done in accordance with section 5 of the order, including the mitigation measures listed in section 5(c).
For the sake of resuming our operations at Pier 33, that was certainly not the answer we were hoping for, but it does pretty specifically clarify what we can and cannot do at this time.
This can or may change. In that same update from the MBIA, we were advised that national organizations related to our industry such as the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Association of Marina Industries and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (Pier 33 is a member of all three organizations), plus Boat US, have forwarded a letter to the Department of Homeland Security requesting the “inclusion of marine supply, service and repair facilities and marinas in the CISA Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” and the clarification to include “Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, bicycles, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of noncommercial vessels, cargo and passengers”. That would be a critical step in allowing marinas to resume normal operations and to get the boating season started. The full text of the letter is posted to our website, here.
The Governor’s Executive Order remains in effect until 11:59 on Monday, April 13. We would expect a new order or other directives to take its place, possibly with the same current restrictions or possibly with some modifications. We’ll know more when we know more.
In the meantime, we are doing our best to be prepared to go at full speed ahead once we are permitted to do so. Please continue to be patient, stay safe by following all social distancing procedures, plus other health safety guidelines and be ready for the welcome relief that boating will bring us all.
Let’s catch up on various items regarding marina operations and other issues related to the start of the 2020 boating season.
Firstly, and far most importantly for absolutely all of us, we all need to do the right things to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that has implications throughout many, many aspects of our lives. Including boating.
We are monitoring State directives and the interpretations of how those apply to our business daily. Marinas are not considered an essential business as identified in Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order 2020-21.
At present, that means that with the exception of minimum basic operations, which are very limited, we are closed. All Pier 33 buildings are closed. Our docks are closed. Restrooms are closed. The fuel dock (and pump out) is closed. With a single “basic minimum” exception, no Pier 33 staff members are on site at any time. At present, repair, maintenance or launching of boats by marina staff is not reasonably permissible under the Governor’s order. We are hopeful that current restrictions will be clarified or eased very soon in a way that permits us to safely allow our staff to proceed with all the services needed to get the boating season started.
It is also possible that some elements of the Governor’s order will extend beyond the original April 13 date. We will continue to keep you posted on any changes that affect our operations here.
Much of our key office staff is available remotely during this shut down period and you are encouraged to contact members of our team to keep your 2020 boating plans moving forward. Click Here to View Key Staff Contact Links. We do want to be as ready as we can be when the Executive Order is lifted or modified to allow resumption of operation.
We have made one current accommodation for our boaters whose boats are stored outdoors at Pier 33 – in open air, requiring no interpersonal action with our staff. That accommodation will remain in effect until or unless we are counseled to discontinue. Pier 33 outdoor storage boaters, please click here to review those details.
For our Pier 33 dockers who may be planning to arrive from other storage locations, please do not enter your assigned dock until you are notified by Pier 33 that it is permissible under the Governor’s order. No services are available.
Information regarding “Critical Infrastructure Workers”, Enforcement and FAQ’s
Information regarding boat charters, closure of DNR marina facilities and other important outdoor recreation notices.
We have posted a more expansive message to our boaters via e-mail. We are hoping to have more updates or clarifications by the end of day Friday March 27. Continue to watch this site for postings.
Per the Executive Order of the Governor, Pier 33 will observe temporary closure through April 13, 2020 unless notified otherwise by the State of Michigan.
That means that all yards, buildings, docks and areas are closed at all times.
When or if further directives are issued that ease or increase these restrictions, this site will be updated.
In the meantime, we are operating remotely for all varieties of client correspondence. Continue to use these links to reach key staff during this period:
Our remote status may mean a slight delay in response.
Thank you for your patience and please consult this site frequently for ongoing updates.
Out of an increasing level of caution, we are now making these changes to operational status. This status is expected to remain the same for the coming week, meaning thru March 28 and updates will be posted accordingly.
The Pier 33 showroom is now closed for “browsing”, meaning that all visits and showings are by specific appointment only. As much as we would like to greet and host all visitors who would like to say hi or spend part of a day browsing thru our selection, this is not the time for casual visits. Our Sales Staff, Greg Dorow and Tighe Curran, are ready to establish appointments as needed with shoppers who would like to visit with us privately and personally.
Our indoor storage and outdoor storage areas will be open and accessible at these times: Monday thru Friday 8a – 4:30p, Saturday 8a-3p. Access is limited to boat owners and their accompanied guests. No outside service providers other than those contracted by Pier 33 are permitted access to the storage areas at any time.
Payment of invoices, dockage arrangements, service requests, launch coordination and almost all other regular business can be conducted at a distance. As previously noted, here are your key contacts at Pier 33:
We strongly encourage existing clients and prospective boaters to correspond with our staff via e-mail, phone or text. Watch for an upcoming announcement regarding new Pier 33 text capabilities.
In the most respectful way, we would also like to encourage all of our boaters and boaters-yet-to-be to responsibly observe guidelines or mandates of local, state and federal agencies regarding travel and social interaction. We want you to stay healthy so that you are safe and can enjoy the upcoming boating season and we want our staff to remain safe and healthy, ready to deliver the boating services you will require.
We will be doing our best as the days move along to keep you updated on all things boating and we can’t wait to see some sunshine, warm weather and boaters on the water. Thank you for your cooperation!