Buzzard Point Marina, where boat owners have docked for more than a half-century, will close in December, displacing about 60 boat owners, the National Park Service said Thursday.
Officials said the marina is in need of improvements to remain safe and modern, but that to make them would be prohibitively expensive. Instead, the marina will close, and later, the agency will study other recreational opportunities on the Anacostia River.
“Closing the marina is not a decision that was made lightly,” Gopaul Noojibail, a superintendent with the Park Service, said in a statement.
Fifty-eight boat owners who use the marina have been notified that they must leave by the end of the year.
Christine Barna, who works at the marina, spent the evening talking to disgruntled customers. “These people are the community of Washington,” she said, calling the Park Service “cowards” for closing the marina. “Boating is a necessity.”
Brian Levy, 40, of Northwest Washington, said he had just paid his marina fees and had put his 26-foot sailboat, the Anchovy, in the water last week. He said he is disappointed to see the marina go.
“This is one of the coolest spots,” Levy said. “It’s a quiet, tranquil place in otherwise bustling D.C. You feel like you’re 40 miles away from D.C., when you’re actually two miles from downtown.”
Buzzard Point has long been one of the city’s least-trafficked corners, a spit of land jutting into the Anacostia in Southwest Washington. In addition to the boat slips — where one man has long lived in a solitary houseboat — the neighborhood is home to an assortment of heavy industries, junkyards and a Revolution-era fort.
But the Buzzard Point neighborhood expects a much higher profile in the near future.
After years of political wrangling, the professional soccer team D.C. United has signed a deal with the city to build a 20,000-seat stadium there to replace the aging RFK Stadium as the team’s home field.
The soccer team — which could not be reached for comment Thursday evening — has hired the architects who built Nationals Park, which energized its own neighborhood not far from Buzzard Point. Local residents have expressed hope that the team will invest in their community.
Members of that community have long praised its quiet isolation. “Down here, it’s like being in a club,” a resident said when the stadium deal was proposed in 2013. “You’re with people who know about this place and can get away from it all here.”
In recent years, there has been one houseboat among the rows of motorboats that frequently dock at the marina. Eddie Cohn has lived at Buzzard Point since the 1960s.
He could not be reached for comment Thursday. But in the past, he said of his watery home: “I got a better view here than the president of the United States, with no hassle. Quiet and peaceful — not too many places in D.C. you can say that.”
The Park Service said that it will maintain the park where the marina is located and that it will work with the community on planning the park’s future use. Its statement said the docks will be removed starting Dec. 31.
Andy Litsky, an Advisory Neighborhood Commission member for the area, said the ANC had not been notified in advance that the marina would close. He pointed out that the waterfront still has recreational areas nearby.
Litsky said he hopes the Buzzard Point Marina site will stay accessible to residents.
“The river ought not to be something that you can just gaze at. It’s part of our city, really, our waterfront heritage here in Washington,” he said. “Our rivers are supposed to be used. They’re not just supposed to be looked at.”
Marc Fisher contributed to this report.