It’s a quiet morning at Port of Salisbury Marina. Glen Lay, one of the marina’s dock masters, is waiting on a boat to arrive at the head of the Wicomico all the way from New Jersey. Lay describes himself as an outdoorsman, so after 30 years with the Maryland Natural Resources Police he knew he wanted to continue to work close to the water. “I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do at that point because I had done one thing for 30 years” says Lay. So when he got the job at Port of Salisbury, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Port of Salisbury is a full service marina with 86 boat slips, located directly across from the Riverside Drive boat launch. Glen Lay begins his day by checking on each boat to ensure that nothing was disturbed or damaged during the night. Most general maintenance issues are handled by the 2 dock masters and it is clear that they take pride in keeping the grounds and the surrounding waterfront clean. “We try to keep the marina looking really good,” says Lay “which I think it does. [The Wicomico] is a beautiful river.”
Along with the general maintenance issues the dock masters also rent out the slips to boaters. Lay describes some of the amenities offered, “We pump gas. We have a laundry room. There is water and electric hook ups at each slip.” Although most of the slip renters are locals, the marina makes an excellent storage space for our coastal neighbors that are more subject to storm damage. Since Port of Salisbury is located about 15 miles from the mouth of the Wicomico River it is not affected as strongly by flooding and high winds that storms can bring. “We have a guy that brings his boat down from Cape May every fall. This part of the river makes for good storage” says Lay.
Port of Salisbury is certainly doing their part to help clean up the Wicomico River. The marina is a certified Clean Marina through the state of Maryland. The facility had to undergo a rigorous inspection to gain the accolade. Safety signs are posted throughout the slips advising boaters to the correct handling of waste and fuel. A spill prevention plan was put in place so that both dock masters are educated in the correct protocol should a fuel spill ever occur on the premise. The marina also recycles and offers head pump out services to prevent the mishandling of waste.
In addition to being a certified Clean Marina, Port of Salisbury is expecting the arrival of a small boat to aid in the trash collection effort on the water. “When you get a bad storm up here, when you get a lot of rain, a lot of trash goes into the drainage [pipes] and it comes out here” says Lay. The city already has a boat dedicated to trash collection but there is more to do. The additional boat will allow the dock masters to keep the marina and the surrounding area cleaner than before.
Lay says, “Our biggest project right now is planning a canoe and kayak launch. [...] We would like to put in a floating dock that has access right on it.” The project should be under way this summer. He says that the floating dock would be free in hopes to get more people out on the water. “This is the perfect area [to canoe and kayak] because we are up far enough that there isn’t a lot of boating activity. There is also a speed limit so you don’t have to worry about a boat flying by you” says Lay.
Glen Lay has only been with Port of Salisbury for 14 months but he clearly has pride in his work. He continues to work on the water, helping people enjoy the Wicomico River responsibly. So if you are looking for a new home for your boat or a kayak launch site to explore the upper river, pay a visit to Port of Salisbury Marina.