Monday, September 10, 2007

Letter to National Parks Service Gateway Recreation Area

Delivered using the contact form on the National Parks Service Gateway Recreation Area page. Note for non-locals - Jamaica Bay is a wildlife preserve and there is a ban on jetskis in the area.

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am a Jamaica Bay kayaker who is disturbed by developments in the Bay this summer. I and other paddling friends have noticed an upswing in the number of jetskis in the bay. Rumours from a source we tended to trust said that the ban was no longer in effect; however an individual who had not heard that reported a jetskier to the NYPD harbor patrol. He was told that the ban was still in effect, but was no longer enforced because no one complained. Apparently the officer encouraged my friend to do so - idea being that if people complained, the police would resume enforcing the ban. He was told that the complaints had to be made in person.

This is rather like the highway patrol asking motorists to call in complaints about speeders.

Assuming that the jetski ban is for environmental reasons, it should be enforced. Jamaica Bay is a wonderful resource & I'd like to see every feasible action taken to protect it - enforcing extant rules seems like a very simple way to do so.

However, I feel that it is extremely unfair to ask individual recreational boaters to collect the registration number of other recreational boaters, report them & get them taken off the water. My own access has been threatened enough (I used to paddle in the Hudson River Park, and kayaks on North River & the Upper Harbor have been a matter of contention in our own right) that I'm just not comfortable doing that.

Please don't ask me to do the job that the parks service and law enforcement should be doing.

Thank you.



Cross-posted at theSebago Canoe Club blog

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