OHCA welcomes use of the community beach by local residents and hopes you have a good event. Please remember that reservations apply only to facilities (gazebos, BBQs, and tables) not to the beach itself or the pier, which remain open to all OHCA residents between dawn and midnight.
Residents can book two small quiet parties each year (up to 50 people, not on Federal Holidays) and can check on existing reservations at OHCA’s website, www.oysterharbor.org. Anne Arundel County prohibits loud music in residential neighborhoods between 10pm and 7am; please keep the volume of your event and any music reasonable at all times.
Please ensure that your guests do not block mailboxes or park illegally on community streets, swales, or private property — including driveways and the empty double-lot across the street. Park only on the apron along the Bay side of Shore Drive between Ellis and where the beach fence ends. Remember: there is no street parking in Oyster Harbor except along the east side of Shore Drive. OHCA can and will tow illegally parked cars. Direct overflow parking to your own driveway, the Booker or Fishing Creek Pier lots, Washington Drive boat ramp, or the community parking lot at Harbor and Creek.
Swim at your own risk — there is no lifeguard. Keep your children and rafts away from the nets and pilings, which have splinters, nails, and critters. Do not swim in the boat channel nor dive from the pier or bulkheads. CAUTION: there were lots of jellyfish last July, and some stung swimmers inside the netted swim area. Check the water first.
Please help us keep our beach clean for everyone’s enjoyment by picking up all your trash, bagging it, and putting recyclables into containers. Take trash back to your house if possible, especially if bins are already full (during the summer we add a Friday pickup to the regular Sunday sweep.) Do not leave cigarette butts in the sand or gazebos. Please check for personal belongings and try to leave the beach in better shape than you found it. If you notice any problems or broken equipment, including the new electronic beach gate (get your code online in the residents’ area of OHCA’s website), please report them to OHCA’s Community Manager at 410-280-8999 or online at www.oysterharbor.org.
A port-a-potty is located at the pumping station near the beach gate from May until November. Please help keep it sanitary and report any problems directly to GOTUGO, whose phone number appears on the unit, or OHCA’s Community Manager.
OHCA gets its beach water tested annually for bacteria (enterococci) May-August by AA County’s Department of Health (DoH) and Anne Arundel Community College’s Operation Clearwater (AACC). The EPA considers fecal bacteria levels below 105 safe for swimming. In 2021, our bacteria counts ranged from a low of 2 on June 9th and August 5th (DoH) to a high of 590 on June 16th (AACC, which tends to get higher readings because it samples shallower water along the shore where geese tend to congregate). The last reading for the 2021 season was 4 on August 25th (AACC). Note that the County Department of Health missed two scheduled samplings in August 2021 but hopes rain and covid staffing shortages will not impact the 2022 testing program. Although our beach has had no health warnings in recent years, DoH has a standing 48-hour “do not swim” advisory after more than 1/2 inch of rainfall because it flushes animal waste like pet and goose feces into the water (one of the reasons for OHCA’s “no pets on the beach” rule and why we ask you to help chase geese off the beach).