Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

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A regatta is an organized water event that takes place at a specified time over a predetermined course. An event is considered a regatta if it generates public interest and draws spectators. Regattas often require a permit.


Where do I get a permit?

The agency that issues your permit will depend upon where the event is taking place.

Waterway where the event is taking place: Agency Issuing the Permit
All tidal and ocean waterways, including the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain US Coast GuardLeaving New York State Parks
Adirondack and Catskill Park Regions NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)Leaving New York State Parks
Barge Canal System

NYS Canal CorporationLeaving New York State Parks

Regatta applications received by OPRHP for waterways controlled by NYS Canals will be forwarded for their review. NYS Canals will have 10 days to respond with an objection to any application for a regatta permit. If no such objection is received, then it is assumed that the application meets their approval, and a permit will be issued. Once issued a copy of the permit will be forwarded on to NYS Canals. When racing shell notifications are received a copy of such notification is forwarded onto NYS Canals. No approval is necessary a racing shell event.

All other waterways in New York State

Office of NYS Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation (OPRHP)

See How to Apply section for instructions

How to Apply

Regatta applications must be submitted a minimum of 15 days prior to the date of the proposed regatta. If the area where the event is being held generally sustains commercial traffic, applications must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to the event. It is generally accepted that most waters in the state sustain commercial traffic, so plan to submit your application 30 days prior to the event. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Permit Fees

Single Event Regatta Permit
Multi-Event Regatta permit
No Charge
Racing Shell Regatta Notification

Racing Shell Notification

Any educational institution or amateur rowing association that intends to sponsor a racing shell regatta shall use the forms provided by the Bureau of Marine Services to notify the commissioner at least 30 days in advance of the date, place, course description, and number of entrants to each race.