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 Conservation and Political Issues
 Conservation Issues
 Use of PWCs at Gulf Islands Nat. Seashore
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2 Posts

Posted - 04/16/2005 :  10:15:35 AM  Show Profile
Calling all fisherman and conservationist!

The National Park Service is preparing to allow Personal Water Craft (jet ski) use within the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The rules allowing such use are posted in the Federal Register and public comment is invited. There is an article in today's Sun Herald that discusses this issue. I encourage all of you who engoy the pristine waters of the islands to weigh in with comments to the Park Service to continue the current ban on PWCs. The proposed ruling can be viewed at the Gulf Islands National Seashore web site and comments can be sent to guis@den.nps.gov.

Below are my thoughts:
I am against allowing the use of Personal Water Craft at the Gulf Islands National Seashore Parks. As a fisherman and conservationist, I would be opposed to opening up environmentally sensitive areas to potential damage from PWCs. PWCs are purely recreational vehicles designed for continuous high speed operation. Continuous operation within the coastal waters of the islands would have a deleterious affect on both wildlife and humans. Boats on the other hand, are typically eased through shallow sensitive areas and are not operated continuously. Besides the potential to environmental damage caused by the craft, the constant noise disturbance will drive fish and wildlife away from the habitat and annoy people enjoying the island beaches. The Gulf of Mexico is large enough that PWC owners can enjoy their vehicles without invading the costal areas.

If a total ban for PWCs is considered to be unreasonable, then I would only be agreeable keeping PWC operation well offshore and only allowing operation within costal waters at idle speed (no wake) allowing a rider to bring the vehicle straight into the beach for access to the beach and immediate beaching or anchoring of the vessel.

Hooksetter



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