Buoys and Markers
Whenever the Director of the Marine Police Division of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shall determine that in the interest of public safety, it is necessary to restrict the speed of boats or boating activities on, or prohibit the entrance of boats into, certain areas of the waters of this state, or otherwise regulate or prohibit the use of boats or water skis (including all devices similar to water skis) in such areas, he shall designate such restricted areas by appropriate sign or bouy.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to place or maintain any regulatory markers (signs or buoys) on the public waters of this state without first having received permission for the erection of such regulatory marker from the Marine Police Division of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. When permission for the erection of such marker is given, same may be only of a standard type and with standard lettering and colors which shall be specified and designated by the Marine Police Division.
Any person, firm or corporation desiring to place or erect reulatory markers on the public waters of this state must first make application to the Marine Police Division for permission..... This can be done by contacting the District Enforcement Office responsible for overseeing that body of water.
The following criteria will be adhered to when considering requests for restrictions of boating on the public waters of the state:
U. S. Aids To Navigation System (ATON)
Buoys and markers are the "traffic signals" that guide boat operators safely along some waterways. They also identify dangerous or controlled areas and give directions and information. As a recreational boat operator you will need to know the lateral navigation markers and non-lateral markers of the U. S. Aids to Navigation System.
These navigation aids are used to mark the edges of safe water areas; for example, to direct travel within a channel. The markers use a combination of colors and numbers which may be applied to buoys or permanently placed markers.
Colors and Numbers: The colors and numbers mean the same thing regardless of what kind of buoy or marker on which they appear:
Red Colors, Red Lights And Even Numbers
Green Colors, Green Lights And Odd Numbers
Red And Green Colors And/Or Lights
Other Kinds of Buoys and Markers:
Click here to see an example of a buoy system on a waterway and a navigational chart
Variations On The U. S. Aids To Navigation System
Some waters of the United States have slight variations on the lateral navigation markers. You should be aware of these if you boat on these waters.
Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)
The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is a chain of local channels linked together to provide an inland passage along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Channels that are part of the ICW are identified by yellow symbols on channel buoys and markers. Buoys and markers that bear these yellow symbols are serving a dual purpose -- they are navigational aids for both the U. S. Aids to Navigation System and the Intracoastal Waterway.
If following the Intracoastal Waterway in a clockwise direction starting from New Jersey and heading to Brownsville, Texas, then:
This is true regardless of the shape or color of the channel marker or buoy on which the ICW symbols are displayed. When you are following the Intracoastal Waterway, the yellow triangles and squares should be used as guides, rather than the colors and shapes of the lateral navigation markers on which they appear.
ICW symbols are most commonly found on daymarks.
Non-lateral markers are navigational aids that give information other than the edges of safe water areas. The most common are regulatory markers that are are white and use orange markings and black lettering. These markers are found on lakes and rivers and are used to:
Other Non-Lateral Markers
Safe Water Mark
Inland Waters Obstruction Mark
The text and graphics on this page are used by permission. Copyright © 2007 Boat Ed.