Closures & Cancellations Related to COVID-19

In accordance with Gov. Ron DeSantis's "Safer at Home" direction April 1, 2020 (Executive Order 20-91) Manatee County Government offices will remain closed to the public through April 30.

On March 29, The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, which recommend avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, was extended to be in effect until April 30, 2020.

County and municipal officials announced on March 19 that the beaches of Anna Maria Island will close on Friday, March 20 at 6 a.m.  Beach closure signs and barricades will alert drivers to the closure.

In an effort to further curb public gatherings and to protect citizens during the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Parks & Natural Resources Department building and facilities closed to the public are listed here.

Closed to the Public

Parks & Natural Resources Department buildings and facilities that are closed to the public include:

  • All county- and city-owned boat ramps (County: Coquina North, Coquina South, Fort Hamer, Kingfish, Highland Shores, Jiggs Landing Boat Ramp closed to motorized launch, Lake Manatee, State Road 64, and Warner's). Only commercial fishing operations - those with Florida Saltwater Products License (SPL) - may use Coquina South Boat Ramp. See FAQ's below.
  • All public beaches on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key (County: Beer Can (Greer) Island, Coquina/Cortez Beach, Manatee Public Beach, and Anna Maria Bayfront Park)
  • Coquina Beach Cafe' and Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe'
  • All county basketball courts 
  • All county tennis and pickleball courts 
  • Skate Parks at G.T. Bray Park and Blackstone Park
  • Hockey Rink at Lakewood Ranch Park
  • Portosueno Park 
  • Rose Park
  • Sunny Shores Park
  • G.T. Bray Recreation Center (All athletic league games and other organized events are canceled)
  • John H. Marble Pool
  • Jiggs Landing Outpost cabin and boat rentals, boat tours, concessions and restrooms
  • Rye Preserve west of Rye Bridge along Upper Manatee River Road (other public entrances will remain open) 
  • Vehicle access to sandy beach area at western edge of Emerson Point Preserve
  • Public Visitor Centers and towers at Robinson Preserve and  Emerson Point Preserve
  • Restrooms and Water Fountains at Robinson Preserve, Emerson Point Preserve, and Rye Preserve
  • Playgrounds at Robinson Preserve and Rye Preserve
  • Rye Nature Center at Rye Preserve
  • The NEST at Robinson Preserve
  • IFAS Extension Office (Ag & Extension, Palmetto)

Additional cancelled activities, until further notice, include:

  • Picnic pavilion reservations through April 30, 2020, at parks and preserves. Customers will receive refunds or be offered credits for use at a future date, valid for up to one year.
  • G.T. Bray Swim Lessons registrations.
  • G.T. Bray and John H. Marble Summer Blast Camp registrations.
  • Coquina Beach Market is closed (both Wednesdays and Sundays).
  • Weekend camping at Rye Preserve.

Open to the Public

County parks and preserves, except Rose Park, continue to be open to the public and we want everyone to enjoy the facilities and everything they have to offer.  

The public is encouraged to exercise social distancing when out in public places. Please be mindful of hard surfaces where germs of all types could be present; playgrounds, picnic tables, boardwalk railings, and restrooms to name a few.  Amid the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, we encourage patrons to wash their hands thoroughly and often.  Pay attention to details and use good judgement.

Please be assured health officials and the County Administration are monitoring local conditions hour to hour and day to day and will keep us informed of any precautions as they arise.

We encourage you to follow the guidance offered by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Stay safe, wash your hands and enjoy the great outdoors!

See more County information related to COVID-19 at mymanatee.org/coronavirus.

Boat Ramp Closure FAQ

We are currently accepting, but only during our open hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Coquina South or 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 10th Street in Palmetto:

  • Saltwater product licenses (SPL)
  • Bivalve shellfish farmers and crabbing certificates (stone, Blue)
  • Marine Mechanics testing or working on vessels
  • Active removing of vessels
  • State workers (FWC, sea grass monitoring, water samples, etc.)
  • Emergency situations
  • No rentals, Charters, kayaks at boat ramps, tours boats, non-essential boaters

An easy way to look at it, if your living is on the water and it is an essential function, then we will work with you during the hours of operation.

I am a charter captain. Can I use the boat ramp?

No, the boat ramps are currently closed to charters.

But I have a SPL license. Can I use the ramp?

If you are fishing commercially for the purpose of selling your catch, Yes.  If you have a charter, No.

Can I pick up my clients from the boat ramp?

No, we are not allowing patrons to have access to the boat ramps; they are for commercial use only.

I am a business owner and am renting a boat out to clients. Can I use the boat ramp?

No, the ramps are for the use of essential commercial fishing vessels only.

I have crab traps I would like to pull out. Can I use the ramp?

Yes, if you have a SPL license or a Bivalve Certification or can show your crabbing credentials.

I am a marine mechanic and need to take a boat out for a sea trial. Can I put in at the boat ramp?

Yes, bring your credential (business license, company information, Vessel #, trailer license #, any other business information). You will have roughly 30 minutes to do a sea trial of the vessel.

What if I am doing a sea trial and the boat breaks down and I cannot make it back to the ramp within that 30 minute time frame?

That is understandable, and the time limit can be extended for a mechanical or unexpected issue that may occur.

I need to remove my boat from the water. May I take it out at the ramp?

Yes, but you cannot park and leave your truck and trailer at the ramp. You can only load and go.

I have a kayak. Can I launch at the boat ramp?

No, there are many primitive sites you can use to launch. For location information, visit our Canoe/Kayak Launch page.