The Newburyport Harbormaster Department manages the waterways and ensures the safety of their users. Among the duties of the harbormaster are managing the boat launch facility at Cashman Park, the central waterfront docks, the Plum Island parking lot, and lifeguards on the public beaches in Newburyport Harbor. The Harbormaster's main responsibilities are patrolling the river and harbor, enforcing State and local laws, and providing a wastewater pump-out vessel and shore facility located in Newburyport Harbor's Cashman Park.
The Cashman Park Boat Launch facility in Newburyport Harbor is a state-of-the-art facility with 136 parking spaces for trailers. Open 24 hours a day throughout the year, assistants are available from mid-May to mid-October to help with vessel launches. The per-day fee for parking and launching is $5, and the seasonal fee is $75. A free self-service wastewater pump station is available for boats using Newburyport Harbor during the boating season.
Tie-up for transient vessels at the City docks is available on a first-come, first-serve basis from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. The Newburyport Harbor dock master collects fees on-site. Fees are based on vessel size, ranging from $2 to $6 per hour. Electric and water service are included in the fee. There are also four guest moorings available at $25 per night. Boaters should contact the Newburyport Harbor dock master on Channel 12 to learn about dock availability and help.
The Harbormaster Department operates lifeguard and comfort stations and the public parking lot at Newburyport Harbor's riverfront and the ocean beaches on Plum Island. Lifeguards on the ocean and river sides of the island to protect not only swimmers but the fishermen angling for striped bass and blue fish. The lifeguards' season lasts from the Newburyport Harbor public school summer vacation until Labor Day from 10am until 5pm.
The Harbormaster's Department also operates a shore-side pump-out facility and a pump-out vessel in Newburyport Harbor. The wastewater collected from boats goes to the Newburyport Harbor wastewater treatment plant, preventing the release of raw sewage into the Newburyport Harbor waterways.
The shore-side facility at Newburyport Harbor operates 24 hours per day from Memorial Day to mid-October. It is located at water's edge in Cashman Park. The pump-out boat visits the moorings and marinas in Newburyport Harbor and Salisbury depending on the weather. The vessel operates on weekends, including Fridays and holidays, from 9am until 5pm.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has certified the Newburyport Harbormaster and the staff of 11 Assistant Harbormasters. These harbormasters are the guardians of Newburyport Harbor's waterfront. In addition to the duties described above, the harbormasters are responsible for planning and managing the harbor, moorings, and docks.
The Newburyport Harbormasters also educate and protect the public about boat safety and laws, enforce the laws, and provide rescue and emergency services. Harbor patrols ensure safety and provide water-related help to fishermen, bathers, and boaters. They also work with the US Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Massachusetts Environmental Police to ensure safe boating in Newburyport Harbor.