Coastal Anchoring & Discharge

Boats at marina

Georgia is home to more than 105 miles of coastal shoreline with outstanding opportunities for boating. In order to keep our coast healthy and vibrant, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has established regulations for overnight anchoring and vessel waste disposal.

Waste Disposal

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, boaters are prohibited from directly discharging waste from Type I, II or III marine sanitation devices within Georgia’s estuarine waters, regardless of whether the waste has been treated. Instead, boaters are asked to use one of 19 pumpout stations along Georgia’s coast, or travel more than three miles from shore. Additionally, marine sanitation devices must be secured in a manner such that waste can only be discharged at a pumpout station. Examples of proper securing include:

  • Closing the seacock and locking it
  • Removing the seacock handle with the seacock in the locked position
  • Securing the seacock with non-releasable wire ties

Overnight Anchoring

Also effective Jan. 1, 2020, overnight anchoring is prohibited in some locations along Georgia’s coast. While most waters are open for overnight anchoring by default, some areas have been excluded by an Administrative Order signed by the Commissioner of Natural Resources. These closed areas are:

  • Within 1,000 feet from any structure, such as a public or private dock, piers, bridges, wharfs, and pilings, except in areas near marinas;
  • Within 1,000 feet of marked commercially leased shellfish growing areas or public-picking areas;
  • Within any navigation channel.

Boaters can anchor between 300 feet and 1,000 feet of a marina, whether other structures are present or not. These “Marina Zones” supersede the 1,000-foot rule and apply to marinas or facilities that provide fuel, dinghy access, provisions, vessel maintenance or other marine services.

No permits are necessary for overnight anchoring. If you have any questions, you may contact the Coastal Resources Division by calling 912-264-7812 or clicking this link to submit questions online. For your convenience, anchorage maps are available below in an interactive format, as well as downloadable PDFs for use on any device.

Enjoy your stay on our coast – we’re glad Georgia’s on your mind.

Click here to read a Jan. 3, 2020, press release about coastal anchoring and waste discharge.

Click here to read the commissioner's administrative order concerning overnight anchoring areas. 

Click here to view the Georgia code section regarding anchoring and waste discharge.

View this interactive map for information about where you can anchor your vessel overnight. Click the ">>" icon on the upper left corner of the map for a legend.

Download .KMZ Files for Google Earth 

Click here to download a .KMZ file of the 1000-foot buffer for shellfish harvest areas.

Click here to download a .KMZ file of the 1,000-foot public shellfish harvesting areas. 

Click here to download a .KMZ file of the 300-foot marina buffer.

Click here to download a .KMZ file of the marina zones.

These files are viewable in Google Earth software as well as some other mapping software products.  These files can also be converted into GPS-compatible files using a variety of free internet file converters. Consult your GPS-device’s owners’ manual for information on file types and upload instructions.  NOTE: Be sure to consult your owners’ manual before uploading the file as some devices will overwrite existing information and existing data or base maps could be lost! The information contained in this file is provided for general educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for navigational charts and knowledge.

These maps are intended only to illustrate overnight anchoring rules in Georgia coastal waters as outlined by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. They are intended for visual aid only, and not for the determination of any official legal extents, boundaries, or any other legal determinations. This map is not intended for navigational use. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented herein, the Coastal Resources Division does not guarantee that this product is error free. The dock and marina structures data used to create buffers illustrated in this map were derived from 2018 aerial imagery, and therefore may have changed.

These maps can also be downloaded as PDFs and saved to your device. Click the links below for maps by county.

Chatham County Liveaboard Map
Bryan & Liberty County Liveaboard Map
McIntosh County Liveaboard Map
Glynn County Liveaboard Map
Camden County Liveaboard Map
Coastal Pumpout Stations