07-28-2009, 12:04 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
- Close to the Caribbean
Support PWCs in Biscayne National Park
Dear BOAT Biscayne Supporter:
We have great news! This summer already promises to be very important for our efforts at Biscayne National Park. We’re making significant progress and would like to share this news with you.
Last week, the United States Senate Commerce Committee took a significant step in restoring PWC access within the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) at Biscayne National Park. The Committee, led by Florida’s U.S. Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson, adopted an amendment that will restore PWC access in the ICW. You can read more about this historic step for the BOAT Biscayne Coalition in the enclosed mailer from Senator Martinez.
We are closer than we have been in years to reaching a reasonable solution to this challenge, but we are not done yet. This is a critical time for the industry and we still have work ahead before this legislation is passed into law.
We will continue to send you updates as we have new information on this and other related issues. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to assist us by making a supportive call to your Member of Congress or sign a letter of support, please contact us by calling Jennifer Hall at 202-777-3503 or email@example.com. If there has ever been a time when your help can make a difference, it is now. We’re here to help.
Your friends at the BOAT BISCAYNE COALITION
SAFETY AREA DESIGNATED FOR PERSONAL
WATERCRAFT TRAVEL AT BISCAYNE BAY
WASHINGTON, DC -U.S. Senator Mel Martinez successfully
pushed forward an effort to allow personal watercraft to transit the
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterways between Biscayne Bay National
Park and the Keys without having to navigate ocean currents.
"This is largely a matter of personal safety," said Martinez, a
member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Committee. "Boats, ships, and tugs are allowed to use the
Intracoastal, but since 2000, thousands of people using
personal watercraft have been forced to go several miles out
into the open ocean. This effort brings some common sense to
the rules and safety to numerous recreational boaters."
Martinez's effort would allow personal watercraft equal access
rights to the federally maintained and dredged Intracoastal
Waterway; and it would create a review panel to assess any
potential environmental or disproportionate impacts. In addition,
it would direct the Coast Guard to complete an environmental
assessment within 150 days to ensure that personal watercraft
do not have any disparate impact on the environment compared
to other vessels allowed to access the Intracoastal Waterway.
Since 2000, 15 separate national parks have conducted studies
on the impact of personal watercraft and all have concluded
that this type of craft presents no unique challenges or impacts
on the economy.
Personal watercraft are allowed to access the Florida Keys
Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp State Park, but they
have been arbitrarily excluded from using the Intracoastal
Waterway and it has been deemed a boating safety risk by the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Sen. Martinez successfully included the personal watercraft
provision as part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act with
the support of Senator Bill Nelson- a measure reauthorizing the
activities of the Coast Guard, its missions and authorities for the
years 2010 and 2011.
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