AS OF MARCH 12, 2021, ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY STILL LIMITS THE SIZE OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SOCIAL GATHERINGS TO:
• 25 PEOPLE MAX OUTDOORS
• 10 PEOPLE MAX INDOORS
THESE RESTRICTIONS WENT INTO EFFECT ON NOVEMBER 30, 2020, AND ARE STILL IN PLACE, ALTHOUGH THEY MAY CHANGE AT ANY TIME. UNLESS YOUR PROPOSED GET-TOGETHER IS SMALL (<25 PEOPLE), ALL OHCA BEACH FACILITY RESERVATIONS ARE MARKED TENTATIVE UNTIL THE COUNTY CHANGES ITS GUIDANCE. THE OHCA BOARD HAS UNTIL MARCH 31 TO SET DATES FOR COMMUNITY EVENTS, WHICH PREEMPT PRIVATE RESERVATIONS.
PLEASE MAINTAIN A SOCIAL DISTANCE of at least 6 feet while at the beach and wear masks if you are in a high risk category for getting sick. People sitting together at a table should all be from the same household or sit at least six feet apart. Do not come to the beach if you are feeling ill, have a fever, or are coughing. Do not play contact sports or use game equipment that requires touching the same object. Please don’t push the envelope on Covid rules until the County and CDC give the “all clear.”
Beach reservations apply only to facilities like the bbqs, gazebos, and tables—not to the beach itself, which remains open to all residents between dawn and midnight. OHCA does not accept reservations for Federal holidays: small private parties are ok but cannot interfere with other residents enjoying the beach and pier. Responsibility for meeting all State and County covid health requirements lies with the person making beach reservations, not with OHCA. Please ensure that all your guests comply with health codes and OHCA’s parking/beach rules. Make reservations online at OHCA’s website, www.oysterharbor.org.
We are glad you want to use OHCA’s community beach for your family gathering and hope you have a good event. Please remember that reservations apply only to the gazebos, BBQs, and tables, not to the beach itself, which remains open to all OHCA residents between dawn and midnight. Book your small, quiet neighborhood party (<50) and check on existing reservations below.
Reservation requests submitted before March 31st in any given year will be marked ‘TENTATIVE’ until OHCA’s Board of Directors and the Recreation Committee have had a chance to pick dates for community events–these will take precedence over requests for private parties but will be set before April 1st so residents can book their own events early in the year. (Two per family per year: you may request additional dates but other families who have not had a chance to reserve the beach facilities will get priority for those extra dates). Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
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, and display your OHCA decal. Remember: there is no street parking in Oyster Harbor except on the apron along the beach side of Shore Drive. OHCA can and will tow illegally parked cars. Direct overflow parking to the boat ramp & community lot at Harbor Road and Creek Drive.
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.) Please remind your guests to put cigarette butts into the special receptacles or trash containers — do not leave them in the sand or gazebos. 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, please report them to OHCA’s Community Manager (410-280-8999).
Swim at your own risk—there is no lifeguard. Keep your children and rafts away from the jellyfish net float lines and pilings (which have splinters, nails, and critters). Do not swim in the boat channel nor dive from the pier or bulkheads.
A port-a-potty is located at the beach gate from early May until late October. Please help keep it sanitary and report any problems directly to the vendor, whose phone number appears on side of unit, or the Community Manager (410-280-8999).
OHCA gets its beach water tested for bacteria each summer by the County’s Department of Health (DoH) and Anne Arundel Community College’s Operation Clearwater (AACC). The EPA considers fecal bacteria levels (enterococci, especially from geese and mammals like dogs) below 105 safe for swimming. In 2019, OHCA’s bacteria counts were all normal and ranged from a low of 1 on 6-12 (AACC and DoH) to highs of 57 on 5-28 (DoH) and 90 on 8-7 (AACC). AACC samples in shallow water along the shore and historically gets higher readings than DoH, which samples in waist-deep water. DoH has not issued any contamination warnings for our beach in years but has a standing 48-hour “no swim” advisory after more than 1/2 inch of rainfall because the rain flushes organic waste into the water.
OHCA’S BEACH, PIER, AND SWIM AREA – INCLUDING GAZEBOS –
ARE CLOSED FROM MIDNIGHT UNTIL DAWN EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK.
IF YOU SEE GEESE ON OHCA’S BEACH, PLEASE CHASE THEM AWAY:
THEY ACCOUNT FOR MUCH OF THE BACTERIA IN THE WATER
AND FOUL THE SAND WHERE OUR CHILDREN PLAY.
NO FIREWORKS ON OHCA’S BEACH OR COMMUNITY PIER AT ANY TIME
— FIRE AND PUBLIC SAFETY HAZARD —