DC sees increase in boaters this summer, ramps up cleaning efforts

Kayakers are seen on the Potomac River in D.C. this summer. Masks are required until you get onto the water.

A kayak is seen on the water in D.C. this summer. Reservations are required if renting a boat.

Kayakers and a paddle boarder are seen on the Potomac in D.C. this summer. Masks are required until you get onto the water.

A kayak is seen on the water in D.C. this summer. Reservations are required if renting a boat.

A kayaker is seen coming into a boathouse in D.C.

Paddle boarders are seen on the Potomac River in D.C.

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More boaters have been hitting the Potomac River in D.C. this summer, finding it an easy way to enjoy the water while socially distancing.

Boating in D.C. is seeing an increase in the number of people renting a paddle boat, paddle board or kayak this year, as people try to get out and enjoy the weather during the pandemic.

“Paddling offers a great opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors while socially distancing, so we have seen increased flow,” said Jen Nuessle, area manager for Boating in D.C.

She said that they have increased cleaning by disinfecting all boats, paddles and life jackets after each use. They’ve also switched to a reservation system for all visitors.

“We have required reservations to ensure we can control the number of guests that are on site at any given time, and it also allows us to minimize touch points at point of sale,” Nuessle said.

She thinks that the increase is because it’s easier to abide by social distancing guidelines on the water, and the weather has not been too hot this summer.

“Not only is it one of the few things that you can do to get out of the house, also Mother Nature has been extremely gracious and allowed us to have a beautiful summer so far,” Nuessle said. “It hasn’t been extremely hot, and it hasn’t been extremely rainy so both of those work in our favor, as well, so it’s definitely a great season to get out on the water and have fun.”

Masks are required for all visitors until on the water. Then, masks can be taken off until the return to the dock.

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