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Maryland bill seeks to rein in floating parties

ANNAPOLIS — Organizers of floating parties such as the Magothy River’s Bumper Bash would need to get permits weeks in advance and could be required to provide security under a bill being supported by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The Senate bill would not apply to sail parades and other events required to have a Coast Guard permit. But gatherings that create unusual hazards would have to apply for a permit and comply with conditions that could include providing security, time limits and placing buoys.

Col. George F. Johnson IV, the superintendent of the Maryland Natural Resources Police, says the Bumper Bash has drawn more than 1,000 boats over the past two years. Johnson says the bill is an attempt to limit large gatherings so they don’t overwhelm the department’s workforce.