Watercraft Noise

Personal Watercraft Industry Rejects Report by Noise Pollution Clearinghouse (Apr. 19, 2000). Business Wire printed the following press release about noise from personal watercraft and a report released by the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse. The press release is printed in its entirety.

Residents Annoyed by Boat Racing on Lake Alfred, Florida (Apr. 13, 2000). The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida reports on problems at Lake Alfred that were recently addressed at a meeting of Lake Alfred's Parks and Recreation Board. There was a complaint by a resident about high methanol alcohol levels in the lake, and many complaints were lodged about noise from boat racing on the lake and noise raised by the racers who camp in Lions Park on the shore of the lake.

City of Lake Alfred, Florida to Decide Whether to Continue Allowing Noisy Boat Races on Lake (Apr. 9, 2000). The Ledger in Florida reports that the controversy over boat racing on Lake Alfred continues. The city of Lake Alfred's Parks and Recreation Board will hold a meeting this week to hear people on both sides of the issue speak before the Board makes a recommendation to the City Commission as to whether the races will be allowed to continue.

US National Park Service Hoping to Reduce Motor Vehicle Use in Parks (Apr. 2, 2000). The Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah recently published an article that originally appeared in the Christian Science Monitor. The article reports that the National Park Service is considering reducing the use of snowmobiles, cars, and airplanes in some of the country's national parks, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. The Park Service hopes to be able to decrease noise and air pollution in the parks to keep them more pristine and to allow visitors to experience a more unspoiled environment.

Jet Skis Banned From Assateague Island, Maryland (Apr. 1, 2000). The Chicago Tribune reports that the U.S. National Park Service recently extended its jet ski and personal watercraft ban to include Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. The Park Service had earlier banned such watercraft at 358 of its 379 parks, recreation areas, and historic sites. Assateague was not included in the ban. The Park Service left it up to the exempted parks' superintendents to determine whether jet skis were harmful to wildlife in the park.

US National Park Services Restricts Use of Personal Watercraft in National Parks (Mar. 21, 2000). An article by Business Wire printed commentary by the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA) regarding the National Park Service's decision to allow some personal watercraft (pwc) use in selected parks while banning the watercraft in other parks.

Floating Nightclub Might Be Moved to Different Dock Mooring to Reduce Noise (Mar. 16, 2000). The Bristol Evening Post reports that a nightclub aboard a ship moored at the Bristol, England City Docks might be moved to a different mooring because of noise complaints from nearby residents.

Florida Riverboat Parties Too Noisy For Residents (Dec. 15, 1999). The Sun-Sentinel reports that Highland Beach residents lodged complaints against a riverboat that hosts parties while it travels on the Intracoastal Waterway. Residents have asked the Town Commission to intervene and help bring the noise level way down. The town has a noise ordinance.

Homosassa, Florida Resident Says Boat Ramp -- Targeted For Restrictions Because of Noise -- Should Remain Because It Benefits Many More People Than It Hurts (Dec. 9, 1999). The St. Petersburg Times prints several letters to the editor, one of which pertains to noise. A resident of Homosassa, Florida says that a boat ramp, for which restrictions have been proposed due to noise complaints, benefits far more people than it hurts. He says that the homeowners near the ramp knew it was there and yet chose to live there.

Columnist Praises Manatee County, Florida Commissioners' Ban on Noisy Airboats (Dec. 3, 1999). The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that after a months-long effort to reduce noise from airboats on Manatee County, Florida waterways, county commissioners resorted to an outright ban of the craft on most waterways; the Intracoastal waterway will have certain areas designated for airboat use. The column's author praises the decision, saying that residents and wildlife on the waterways deserve some quiet.

Power Boat Races Want to Return to St. Petersburg, Florida Next Year; They Are Asking for Mayor's Help, Which Will Include Evaluation of Noise Impacts on Downtown (Nov. 25, 1999). The St. Petersburg Times reports that the Power Boat World Championships wants to return to St. Petersburg, Florida next year, and they have already talked to the mayor about working together to improve the event. The mayor has said she appreciates the economic benefits of such an event, and wants to help event planners evaluate possible negative impacts -- such as excessive noise and damage to estuaries -- on downtown residents.

Residents of Ozello, Florida Ask for More Restrictions on Noisy Airboaters (Nov. 17, 1999). The St. Petersburg Times prints a letter to the editor on the problem of airboat noise in Ozello, Florida.

Right Whale Deaths Caused By Ship Collisions May Result From Acclamation to Noise in Heavily-Traveled Waters (Nov. 6, 1999). The New Scientist reports that right whales -- among the most endangered species on the planet -- often die after collisions with ships. The whales may be so used to noise from increasingly busy shipping lanes that they don't connect it with danger.

Columnist in Columbia, South Carolina Discusses Noise Strategies in Our National Parks (Oct. 16, 1999). The Sacramento Bee prints a column that discusses noise pollution in our national parks. The column discusses air-tour noise, raft-motor noise, and other problems in our national parks. She mentions that the National Park Service is currently drafting a policy that will require all parks to monitor their noise and establish natural sound levels as well as sources of the most intrusive human-made sounds.

Letter to the Editor Trashes Airboats as an Annoyance and a Danger to Fishermen, Wildlife, and Residents (Oct. 15, 1999). Sarasota Herald-Tribune prints a letter to the editor from a Brandenton, Florida man concerned about the impact of airboats. He says that their noise and intrusiveness are a problem for residents, wildlife, and fishermen. Further, he says that the decibel-based ordinance passed in a nearby community is unenforceable.

Environmentalists and Private Boaters Say Noise From Motorized Tour Boats Degrade the Grand Canyon Experience; Tour Operators Say They Allow Quicker, Easier Trips For Those Who Couldn't Otherwise Visit (Sep. 19, 1999). The Los Angeles Times reports that operators of motorized raft tours on the Grand Canyon's Colorado River are at odds with environmentalists and private boaters who want a quieter, less congested river. Tour operators say that they allow older, less fit people, or people with little time to spare, to see the Grand Canyon. Environmentalists and private boaters say the noise ruins the natural quiet of the park, and waiting lists skewed in favor of companies relegate private boaters to a twenty-year waiting list. A motor ban on the river was killed twenty years ago, but a new management plan will raise the question again.

Cleveland, Ohio Boat Show to Include Courtesy Boat-Motor Noise Tests (Sep. 17, 1999). The Plain Dealer reports reports on several of Cleveland's upcoming sporting events, including a large boat show on the lake. The show will include courtesy engine-noise tests.

North Carolina Airboat Operator Draws Resident Complaints Over Noise; County Commissioners Say They Can Only Regulate Noise When It Is Part of a Safety Hazard (Aug. 27, 1999). The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that County Commissioners were asked by several residents in Arden, North Carolina to curb the noise made by an airboat operator on the French Broad River. After some responsibility-passing between the County Commissioners and the state Wildlife Commission, the County Commission has said it will hear public comments at its next area meeting, and will attempt to negotiate a compromise.

Endangered Florida Manatees May Be Injured By Boats In Part Because They Can't Hear Low-Frequency Sounds; Some Want a High-Frequency Alarm, Others Say Harassing Animals Is No Way to Save Them (Aug. 23, 1999). The Orlando Sentinel reports that when protected manatees of Florida are killed by boat propellers, the reason may be that the manatees can't hear the boats. Some want to add high-frequency alarms to boat motors to warn manatees, but others say that the noise may do more harm than good by continually harassing the animals.

Motorboat Noise Tests Offered in Columbus, Ohio to Prepare Boaters for New Noise Limits (Aug. 15, 1999). The Columbus Dispatch reports that noise tests on Ohio lakes are being offered to boaters to test compliance with a new state noise law. The new law will limit a boat motor to 90 decibels at three feet and 75 decibels from the shore. Officers say most boaters are already in compliance.

New Ohio Law Will Impose Fines on Loud Boats (Aug. 6, 1999). The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that as of January 1st, boat motorists with motors louder than 90 decibels will be given with a $100-$1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Boaters with loud motors will be ordered to put on mufflers that cost from $400-$800.

Sea Plane Tours in New York City Will Soon Be Illegal, Despite Claims by Unlikely Supporters that They Disturb No One (Jul. 30, 1999). Newsday reports that a pending law in New York City will make seaplane tours -- which fly 1,500 feet above the East River -- illegal. Regulation is complicated, since the federal government regulates air space, the city regulates the marina, and the Coast Guard regulates the water. Some unlikely allies have emerged for the company; members of a local Community Board were convinced that the noise is not irritating, and teachers at the United Nations School say that the takeoffs and landing is far from disruptive.

Boat Launch Site On Deland, Florida's Lake Monroe Closed After Residents Complain Of Noise; Airboaters Say Only Some Operators Are Disrespectful (Jul. 23, 1999). The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports that after resident complaints at a recent County Council meeting about airboat noise from a launch site on Deland, Florida's Lake Monroe, officials closed the site. A task force has been assembled to balance resident concerns with airboaters' rights to operate their boats in a responsible manner. One member of the County Council noted that all arbiters wear ear protection, underlining the noise they generate. The Sheriff's office says that it can solve the problem with stepped up enforcement, but as of yet they have no airboat that would allow them to witness the actual violations -- a prerequisite for issuing a ticket.

Personal Watercraft in Pennsylvania Bother Many With Noise and Safety Risks; New Safety Requirement Aimed at Reducing Accidents (Jul. 15, 1999). The Morning Call reports that many users of Pennsylvania State Parks are irritated with the noise and unsafe operation of personal watercraft; many operators stay in the same area, creating a more constant noise than most other types of craft. Safety concerns have fueled a regulation that will soon require Pennsylvania operators to carry a Boating Safety Education Certificate. While PWCs made up 6.7 percent of registered boats last year, they were involved in 36 percent of accidents and 56 percent of collisions. Their two-cycle engines -- together with two-cycle engines of other boats -- burn oil and leak disproportionate amounts of oil and fuel into waterways. PWCs are barred from certain lakes as well as areas of the Delaware River. National Parks are considering a ban on PWCs altogether, citing that the focus of an operator on the thrill of the PWC itself means they are not actually "enjoying the resources of the park."

Whale Song Researcher Works With Students from the American School for the Deaf to Examine the Possibility that Whales Are Losing Their Hearing (Jul. 11, 1999). The Boston Globe reports that a researcher from the University of Connecticut is working with two teenage students at the American School for the Deaf on the question of whether whales may be losing their hearing due to man-made noise. The students feel that hearing loss is something they may have in common with the whales. Whales need their hearing to survive, but will not leave noisy feeding grounds that is as loud and dangerous to a whale's hearing as to humans living near an airport. They will study whether whale songs match noise patterns, which would indicate that the whales may hear, and be injured by, the noise.

Illinois Speed Boater Challenges Noise Citation from County (Jul. 7, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports that Mike Lovergine, a McHenry resident, is the first person ever to receive a $35 citation for making too much noise in his hih performance speedboat on Pistakee Bay, north of Johnsburg. The man plans to challenge the ticket in the County Circuit Court.

Noise Action Day Reveals Noise Complaints On the Rise (Jul. 7, 1999). According to the Press Association, politicians are campaigning on Noise Action Day, asking people to be more thoughtful of their neighbors. The article revealed that noise complaints are increasing in number, especially noise from arguing neighbors, airplanes and loud music from nearby clubs. Local authorities, however, show no signs of enforcing a national noise policy.

Students and Scientists Study Noise Impact on Whales (Jul. 6, 1999). According to an Associated Press article, scientists have studed whale feedings in the Massachusetts Bay between Cape Ann and Provincetown, and think that too much human noise from fishing vessels, whale watch cruises and leisure boats may have a negative impact on their health. Now students will begin a five-day study of the impact of noise on whales that feed along Stellwagen Bank one of the nation's 12 aquatic sanctuaries.

Maine Company Apologizes To Residents For Night Noise and Promises Solution (Jul. 2, 1999). The Portland Press Herald reports that Bath Iron Works (BIW), a Navy shipbuilder, apologized to its South End Bath neighbors for construction noise at night when people were trying to sleep. Kevin Gildart, a spokesman for the company, assured residents that measures to lessen the noise were in progress, and more solutions were forthcoming.

Water Enthusiast Writes of Noise, Stench Caused by Watercraft (Jun. 12, 1999). The London Free Press recently ran a letter to the editor complaining of the noise and smells generated by watercraft on England's lakes.

Rural Neighborhood Near Florida's Lake George Disrupted By Noise From Airboats (Jun. 9, 1999). The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports that communities near Florida's Lake George are being disrupted by noisy airboats. An existing ordinance prohibits airboat noise from bothering residents, but the ordinance requires that the boat operator be caught being too loud too close to a residence. Volusia County Council member "Big John" wants to tighten enforcement of that ordinance, or alternatively ban airboats from the lake during the later hours of the day. Deputies have said they will patrol the lake more, but promise to evaluate each situation and not simply go after airboat operators.

Authorities at Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin's Lake Wisconsin Use Airplane Surveillance to Record Violators of Personal Watercraft Laws (Jun. 5, 1999). The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that 14 County Conservation wardens at Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin's Lake Wisconsin will be joined by an airplane in an effort to catch violators of personal water craft rules. The airplane will be used to record violations on video. Complaints from lakefront residents about noise, as well as concerns about environmental destruction and safety issues, prompted the rules and the crack-down. Boaters will be given warnings, but wardens will give tickets when necessary; while personal watercraft represent only 5 percent of registered boats on the lake, they are involved in a much higher percentage of the accidents there.

Report Released by Izaak Walton League of America Details Environmental Damage and Safety Risks Caused by Personal Watercraft in America (Jun. 3, 1999). The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a report released by the Izaak Walton League of America details the environmental and safety concerns raised by increasing use of personal watercraft. While many consider the noise from personal watercraft a nuisance, the report asserts that problems go far beyond that. Ordinances around the country are restricting their use. Their two-cycle engines are terrible polluters, they cause a disproportionately large percentages of water-based accidents, and their noise and spray disrupt wildlife, plant life, and others who use the waterways.

California Towns Consider Restrictions on Personal Watercraft, Residents Line Up On Both Sides (May 31 1999). The PM Cycle reports that jet skis, boats and all personal watercraft will face new restrictions at Donner Lake near Truckee. Noise, water quailty and safety are all concerns addressed in the regulations, according to the article. The article goes on to say that residents in Truckee and Donner Lake are calling for for sweeping changes in regulation of watercraft based on a similar ban at nearby Lake Tahoe. Other residents who support stricter regulation claim the new restrictions are not strict enough, while still others oppose the new restrictions claiming their civil rights are being violated, the article says. (May 31, 1999). TRUCKEE, Ca - Pm Cycle reports that jet skis and other personal watercraft will face new and sweeping restrictions at nearby Donner Lake in a proposal by the town council.

California Towns For and Against Restrictions on Personal Watercraft (May 31, 1999). The Associated Press reports that jet skis and other personal watercraft will face new and sweeping restrictions at Donner Lake in a proposal by the town council.

Group Says Jet Skis Cause Great Harm to Air, Waterways (May 29, 1999). The Boston Globe reports that a Maryland conservation group and personal watercraft industry officials are clashing over pollution concerns caused by jet skis.

Illinois Town Targets Loud Parties With Second Noise Ordinance (May 28, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports that the Fox Waterway Agency's board of directors passed a second noise ordinance this year because of complaints about excessive noise on the waterway, not from boat engines but from loud parties.

Wayne, Maine Public Hearings Propose an Ordinance Forbidding Personal Water Craft on Local Ponds and a Change in How Noise from Alleged Noise Ordinance Violators is Measured (May 27, 1999). Kennebec Journal reports on a series of Wayne, Maine public hearings dealing with an ordinance to ban personal water craft on local ponds, and a change in measuring noise ordinance violations.

County Commissioners in Asheville, North Carolina Consult State Wildlife Commission Concerning Noise and Other Disturbance from an Airboat Operation on the French Broad River (May 26, 1999). The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Buncombe County Commissioners will ask the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for help in determining the environmental threats that a small airboat operation may have on the French Broad River. In addition to environmental concerns, citizens are worried about effects on other recreation, safety, and hearing.

New Noise Ordinance in Chicago's Fox River Allows Noisy Boats to be Identified By Ear (May 26, 1999). The Chicago Daily Herald reports that a new noise ordinance put in place by the Fox Waterway Agency will discard the old 90 dB noise limit for the subjective limit at which "peace is breached" on the Fox River. The ordinance was introduce because decibel meters were unreliable on the Fox River, where sound bounces off buildings, and many window-rattling violators were having their tickets thrown out in court. First, second, and third noise violations carry minimum $35, $200, and $500 fines respectively.

Poor Weather Forces Rescheduling of Noise Tests to Help Boaters Comply with New Noise Law on Chicago area's Chain o' Lakes (May 24, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports that noise tests, designed to help boaters comply with a new noise ordinance on the Chicago area's Chain o' Lakes, were poorly attended due to miserable weather. The tests will be rescheduled for early June. The new ordinance starts with the state-mandated 90 dB limit for idling boats and 70 dB for moving boats, but gives marine officers the ability to determine excessive noise by ear since traditional noise-measuring equipment is designed for use on the open water.

Deputies in Chain O' Lakes Area of Illinois Will Test Powerboats for Compliance with New Noise Ordinance (May 19, 1999). Chicago Tribune reports that marine police will be on hand to help powerboaters determine if their boats are within the new noise limits set by Fox Waterway Agency on the Chain O' Lakes near Chicago. The limit is 90 decibels, but passing under the limit does not mean a boater can not receive a ticket this season; it is meant to give boaters an idea of whether they need to take steps to quiet their engines.

Truckee, California's Town Council Considers Restrictions for Personal Watercraft on Donner Lake, Fearing Recent Restrictions at Lake Tahoe will Bring More Polluting Watercraft There (May 18, 1999). The Sacramento Bee reports that Truckee, California's Town Council is considering restrictions on the use of personal watercraft in Lake Donner. Nearby Lake Tahoe recently banned personal watercraft, and residents are afraid make people will come to Lake Donner instead. Personal watercraft release up to 1/4 of their fuel -- including MTBE, benzene, and other chemicals -- unburned into the water, which in turn is used as drinking water by lake-level residents and also imported into Nevada for drinking.

Arden, North Carolina Airboat (May 5, 1999). The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Mike Bumgardner, an airboat operator on the French Board River in Arden, North Carolina, will appear at the County commissioners meeting with some of his past passengers to protest the efforts to shut his operation down. Noise complaints and concerns about the environment from riverfront residents have prompted the commission to consider regulation of airboats, which would primarily affect Bumgardner.

Organization in Australia Seeks Ban on Jet Skis in Sydney Harbor and Restrictions Elsewhere (May 3, 1999). The Dominion reports that Australia's Sydney Coastal Councils Group is calling on the state government to ban jet skis from Sydney Harbor while restricting their use elsewhere. Water police reported 120 incidents last year -- a 30 percent increase -- and the risk to riders and others such as bathers who use the harbor is rising. Some councils in Sydney have received up to 10 calls a day complaining of physical danger and excessive noise.

Water Police in Massachusetts Communities Around Rockport Approach Regulation of Personal Watercraft in Several Ways (May 2, 1999). The Boston Globe reports that complaints regarding noise, environmental impact, and safety of personal watercraft in communities near Rockport, Massachusetts is prompting responses from waterway officials and harbormasters. Injuries are increasingly common, and most officials say the best approach is regulation, coupled with education. An informal survey revealed that officials would rather educate than ban.

Personal Watercraft Banned from Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Manteo, North Carolina (Apr. 29, 1999). The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that federal officials have banned the use of jet-skis or personal water craft near Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Water craft will be banned from landing or launching from any beach in the Seashore, which encompasses 80 miles on each side of the islands. Operators must stay 150 feet from the Seashore along Pamlico Sound, but can be as close to the beach as they want where the Seashore has no jurisdiction. On private property they will still be allowed.

Chain o'Lakes, Illinois Boat Owners Say Noise Ordinance is Unfair (Apr. 23, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports that despite a concession towards the Chain o'Lakes Power Boat Association allowing them to use cutoff muffler switches, the boat owners are still upset with a noise ordinance that allows individual marine patrol officers to ticket them for sound violations without the use of a decibel meter.

Wisconsin Powerboat Group Challenges Noise Ordinance (Apr. 5, 1999). Chicago Tribune reports a powerboater association will ask for a repeal of a new boating noise ordinance enacted by a waterway authority in Wisconsin.

Acoustic Ecology: Hearing Care and Preserving the Rare Sounds of Silence (Apr.1 1999). Cooking Light Magazine reports natural quiet in the United States is difficult to find in these modern times of more cars, more planes, more appliances, and more people. What we hear and how well we hear it is a major concern of both audiologists and a movement called acoustic ecology.

Illinois Boaters Object to Lake Noise Ordinance (Mar. 26, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports a number of Illinois residents are protesting a new ordinance that regulates noise from boats.

Illinois Waterway Agency Drafts Noise Ordinance that will Fine Noisy Boaters (Mar. 16, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports directors of a waterway in Illinois are planning to adopt an ordinance that will fine boaters for creating excessive noise.

'Snowmobile' is a Fighting Word in Yellowstone National Park; Man and Motor Versus Natural Quiet (Feb. 28, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports the snowmobile's noise and pollution in Yellowstone National Park is the latest topic in a larger debate of how to appreciate nature on public lands in the United States.

Bill in VT House Would Ban Personal Watercraft from Most Vermont Lakes (Feb. 23, 1999). The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports Jet Skis and other brands of the popular motorized water scooters may be banned on all but Vermont's four largest lakes.

Environmentalists Want Snowmobiles Out of U.S. National Parks (Feb. 7, 1999). The New York Times reports a coalition of environmental groups in the United States wants to ban snowmobiles from the 28 National Parks that allow them. Noise, air pollution and safety are environmentalists' chief concerns.

Residents Consider Noise Ordinance in Conn. Town (Nov. 24, 1998). The Hartford Courant reports Ellington, Connecticut, residents gathered Monday at a town ordinance meeting addressing noise and blight.

Florida Citizens Petition for Peace and Quiet; Ask for Regulation of Water Scooters (Nov. 22, 1998). The St. Petersburg Times reports a petition signed by residents of a Florida town who object to noise from water scooters has prompted the city to consider a new ordinance.

City Councilors Disagree about Banning Jet Skis on Vermont Lake (Oct. 20, 1998). The Associated Press reports Burlington, Vermont's, City Council is considering banning personal watercraft from Burlington Harbor on Lake Champlain.

U.S. National Park Ban of Personal Watercraft Causes Ire Among Fans (Sep. 21, 1998). The Christian Science Monitor reports after years of debate, the U.S. National Park Service has banned the use of personal watercraft (PWC) in its parks with a few exceptions.

Bangkok Will Enforce Noise Limits on Noisy Canal Boats (Sep. 10, 1998). Bernama, The Malaysian National News Agency reports China's Bangkok Metropolitan Administration plans to regulate noise levels of passenger boats after operators were found to suffer hearing damage.

In Minnesota, Popular Personal Watercraft Bring Noise and Safety Concerns (Sep. 9, 1998). The Associated Press reports as personal watercraft grow in popularity in Minnesota, they are attracting more scrutiny with regards to noise and safety issues.

Pilots' Strike Brings Some Quiet to Noisy World of Minneapolis, Minnesota (Sep. 8, 1998). The Star Tribune reports an unintended consequence of the pilots' strike against Northwest Airlines: natural quiet beneath the airport flight paths in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Debate Continues Over Use of Personal Watercraft as National Parks Service Proposes Rule (Sep. 6, 1998). The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports national seashores in Florida and North Carolina are among several that would be exempt from a ban on Jet Ski-type watercraft under new proposed National Park Service regulations.

Final Hearing for Maine's Ban of Personal Watercraft Concentrates on Residents of Tunk and Donnell Lakes (Aug. 20, 1998). The Bangor Daily News reports that the recent law banning personal watercraft from 245 lakes and ponds under Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission's (LURC) jurisdiction came before the Commission for a final hearing. Landowners on two of the larger Hancock County lakes turned out in force both for and against the ban on personal watercraft.

Committee Bans Personal Watercraft Banned within 1,200 of San Francisco's Shoreline (Aug. 14, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors reported unanimously to ban personal watercraft within 1,200 feet of the city's shoreline.

Editorial Says Jet Skis Ruin Peace and Quite of Canadian Lakes (Aug. 11, 1998). The Vancouver Sun published an editorial about personal watercraft ruining the peace and quiet of Canadian lakes.

Enforce Noise Abatement Laws on Illinois' Waterways, Says Editorial (Aug. 10, 1998). The Chicago Tribune published an editorial criticizing the lack of enforcement of quiet boating on Illinois' inland waterways.

Jet Ski Operators Claimed to be the Source of Safety Problems (Aug. 2, 1998). The Boston Herald reports that jet skis, though considered extremely dangerous by detractors, may not be as much of a threat as they have been perceived to be. The article claims that Jet Ski related accidents comprise only two of the 140 boat-related deaths in Massachusetts since 1987 even though jet ski ownership is on the rise.

Editorial Advocates Regulations on Jet Skis in Florida (Jul. 18, 1998). The Orlando Sentinel Tribune printed an editorial that argues that Florida communities should place restrictions on Jet Skis, or personal watercraft, and enforce the regulations. Otherwise, the editorial says, a ban could lie ahead.

Jet Skis Targeted as Polluters of Michigan's Great Lakes (Jul. 17, 1998). The Detroit News reports that scientists and others this summer are targeting personal watercraft with significantly polluting Michigan's Great Lakes. Millions of gallons of unburned fuel are being poured into the lakes from the inefficient two-stroke engines on Jet Skis and other personal watercraft, experts say. The article notes that state bills on Jet Ski restrictions have passed the House and Senate and are bound for Governor Engler's signature. The bills address issues of safety, training, and law enforcement related to personal watercraft, but don't address water pollution.

Editorial Applauds Proposal by National Park Service to Ban Personal Watercraft (Jul. 16, 1998). The St. Petersburg Times printed an editorial that argues the proposal by the National Park Service to ban Jet Skis at national parks would improve health and safety conditions at our parks. The editorial goes on to say that state and local governments should impose similar restrictions on Jet Skis near coastal and lake shores. The issue is especially important for Florida, the editorial says.

National Park Service's Proposal to Ban Jet Skis Intensifies Debate on Issue (Jul. 16, 1998). Greenwire reports that according to USA Today, the National Park Service's proposal to ban personal watercraft in several national parks and recreation areas is "intensifying [the] aquatic culture clash between Jet Skiers, traditional boaters, and shoreside spectators" (Greenwire, 7/8). The article lists several areas around the country that have recently restricted Jet Skis, and gives several editorial quotes from U.S. newspapers on the topic of Jet Ski restrictions.

Washington Resident Applauds State Supreme Court and National Park Service for Banning Jet Skis (Jul. 15, 1998). The Seattle Times printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Christina Wilsdon, a Seattle resident, regarding noise from personal watercraft:

Editorial Says Jet Ski Ban in Some Washington Lakes Makes Sense (Jul. 13, 1998). The Columbian printed an editorial that argues Jet Ski bans make sense in some Washington lakes. In national parks and other important natural areas, Jet Skis are not appropriate, the editorial says. But on other lakes, such as the Lacamas Lake near Vancouver, Washington, seaplanes and motorboats already have shattered the silence and residential developments have eliminated much of the former natural setting. On such lakes, the editorial argues, Jet Skis should be banned only if they can be shown to be environmentally harmful.

Maine's Acadia National Park is First National Park to Ban Jet Skis (Jul. 13, 1998). The Bangor Daily News reports that Acadia National Park, near Bar Harbor, Maine, has become the first national park in the country to ban personal watercraft in its lakes and ponds. The article explains that the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission and the National Park System currently are working on rules that would restrict personal watercraft on many water bodies throughout the country. According to the article, Acadia used the state's Great Ponds law to achieve its ban. Meanwhile, the National Park Service is considering banning Jet Skis at nine other national parks, including Mount Ranier in Washington and Voyageurs in Minnesota.

Washington State Supreme Court Rules That Jet Skis Can Be Banned (Jul. 13, 1998). NBC News Transcripts reports that the Washington state Supreme Court has upheld a county ordinance that bans Jet Skis as noise pollution in the San Juan islands, north of Seattle, Washington.

Florida County Government and Two Federal Agencies Target Personal Watercraft With Restrictions and Research (Jul. 12, 1998). The Houston Chronicle reports that a wide range of groups has started to criticize personal watercraft, saying that the machines are too noisy and unsafe. Among the critics are law enforcement officers, anglers and recreational boaters, waterside homeowners, and safety officials. The most recent critics include officials in Florida's Monroe County, the National Park Service, and the National Transportation Safety Board. The article goes on to outline the actions of each of the three agencies, and lists many safety statistics related to Jet Skis.

U.S. National Park Service Announces Plans to Ban Jet Skis in Certain Areas (Jul. 8, 1998). Greenwire published the following press release saying the National Park Service has proposed banning jet- propulsion personal watercraft (PWCs) from many of the waterways it oversees because of pollution, noise and safety concerns:

National Park Service Proposes Banning Personal Watercraft From All National Parks (Jul. 8, 1998). The Austin American-Statesman reports that the National Park Service has proposed banning personal watercraft such as Jet Skis from all national parks because of noise, safety, and environmental concerns. The article notes that the Park Service expects to publish the proposed rules this summer, and then take public comments for 90 days, after which the rules could be revised. The new regulations could take effect next year.

National Parks Service Ban on Jet Skis May Affect California Sites (Jul. 8, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports personal watercraft would be banned from all national parks as early as next year because of safety, noise and environmental concerns under rules proposed by the National Park Service. In California, personal watercraft could still be operated at the discretion of the local superintendent at units administered by the Park Service.

Personal Watercraft Ban Proposed by National Park Service (Jul. 8, 1998). The New York Times reports personal watercraft such as Jet Skis could be banned from all national parks because of safety, noise and environmental concerns under rules proposed by the National Park Service.

Maine Passes Comprehensive Law Regulating Noise and Operators of Personal Watercraft (Jul. 6, 1998). The Portland Press Herald reported Maine's new watercraft regulations take effect on Thursday. Years of complaints about noise and safety issues concerning the personal watercraft led to the most comprehensive law of its kind yet passed in Maine.

Noise Regulations for Watercraft in Maine (Jun. 30, 1998). The Central Maine Morning Sentinel reports new laws regulating motorboats, including limiting the noise levels of all powerboats go into effect next week in Maine.

For Peace and Safety's Sake, Virginia Needs to Regulate Personal Watercraft, Says Editorial (Jun. 28, 1998). The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, VA, published the following commentary advocating for stronger rules for personal watercraft.

New Laws on Maine's Waters Restricting Noise and Personal Watercraft (Jun. 28, 1998). The Portland Press Herald reports as Maine's busiest boating season begins next weekend, game wardens are gearing up to enforce new boating laws - including restrictions on noise levels and the minimum age for operating personal watercraft.

Use of Personal Watercraft Prohibited Near Some Shores in the Florida Keys (Jun. 22, 1998). The New York Times reports County Commissioners in Monroe County, Florida have approved an ordinance that prohibits operating personal watercraft within 1,200 feet of 14 beaches and resorts from Key West to Key Largo. The Personal Watercraft Industry Association, an association that represents five manufacturers of personal watercraft, plans to file suit in a Federal court asking that the ordinance be repealed.

National Parks Service Proposes Ban on Jet-Propelled Water Skis, with Limited Exceptions (Jun. 17, 1998). The Seattle Times reports that the week of June 15, National Parks Service proposed a ban on personal watercraft from thousands of pristine lakes and rivers in national parks, while simultaneously permitting them on waterways where they have traditionally been used. The proposal from the parks services does not establish the complete ban sought by some environmentalists, but it does effectuate a total ban in some areas.

Seattle Set to Approve Floatplane Takeoffs and Landings Near Downtown Pier (Jun. 6, 1998). The Seattle Times reports that city officials in Seattle, Washington are set to approve a project that would allow float-planes to take off and land 72 times a day near Pier 54 on Elliott Bay, after reviewing the proposed project for more than a year. If permitted, the project would allow Kenmore Air to operate 20-minute scenic trips from a 25-foot float off the pier. Meanwhile, some residents who live in the downtown are opposing the project, saying it will bring more noise. If the project is approved, the article notes, it likely will be appealed and will face a more lengthy review.

Noise at National Parks Creates High-Level Debate (Jun. 3, 1998). The Gannett News Service reports that noise in U.S. national parks has created an intense debate between hikers, conservationists, personal watercraft manufacturers, tour plane operators, and the federal government. This summer, the article says, Congress and the Clinton administration are considering actions to lower human-made noise in national parks. In addition, the National Park Service intends to adopt strict rules regulating the use of personal watercraft, or Jet Skis. And, the Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote this summer on a bill by its chair, John McCain (R-Arizona), to restrict tour planes and helicopters above national parks. At the same time, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Park Service are working on a new regulation that would require each national park to adopt a management plan to detail how many sightseeing flights should be allowed and what routes they should take.

Canadian Shakespeare Theater Company Wants Jet Ski Bylaw Enforced During Their Performances (Jun. 2, 1998). The Calgary Herald reports that members of the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan theater company in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan want the city police to enforce a bylaw that prohibits Jet Skis from using the portion of the South Saskatchewan River near the company's performance tents on the river banks.

Florida County Planning Staff Recommends No Ban on Airboats on River (Jun. 2, 1998). The Press Journal reports that planning staff members in Indian River County, Florida have recommended that the County Commission not pass a ban on airboats on the Sebastian River during its meeting today. Planning staffers said there is not enough evidence of negative impacts to ban airboats, but they did recommend consideration of banning all boats more than 25 feet in the narrow stretches of the river. The issue came before the commission after dozens of residents who live on or near the river in Roseland complained about noise from a commercial airboat tour operation. Meanwhile, officials in Brevard County are watching the vote closely, because they also have been asked to regulate airboats on their part of the river.

Florida County Officials Consider Whether Some Airboats Should Be Banned on a River (May 26, 1998). The Press Journal reports that officials in Brevard County, Florida have deferred action on a proposed ban on airboats on the Sebastian River until Indian River County officials decide whether to regulate airboats on its portion of the river. The article says that the Indian River County Commission will hold a public hearing on the issue June 2 in Vero Beach. Large airboats operated by commercial tourism companies have drawn criticisms from residents on the river because of their noise.

Local Florida Commission Hesitates to Ban Airboats; Waits for Outcome in Nearby Community (May 20, 1998). The Press Journal reports the Brevard County Commission voted Tuesday to postpone action on requests to ban airboats from the waterway despite concerns from residents about noise and other environmental issues.

Florida Airboat Owners Demonstrate on River Hoping to Prevent Ban (May 18, 1998). The Press Journal reports the owners of airboats took guests on a "trail ride" to protest a proposed ban being considered by Florida's Indian River and Brevard counties. Airboat owners hoped to prove noise complaints were unfounded.

Proponents of Florida Airboat Ban Expect "Battle;" Boaters Plan Demonstration (May 15, 1998). The Press Journal of Vero Beach, Florida, reports airboaters are organizing a demonstration on Sunday to protest a possible ordinance prohibiting airboats from operating in the Sebastian and Indian Rivers.

Maine Senate Enacts Watercraft-use Legislation that Bans Use of Personalwatercraft and Boat Moters on Specific Water Surfaces and Sets Decibel Noise Restrictions Where Watercraft Use is Permitted. (Apr. 8, 1998). The Bangdor Daily News reports that legislation enacted by Maine's Senate bans the use of personal watercraft (including Jet Skis) on 243 gem ponds and on specific lakes in Maine's Rangeley region.

Restrictions on Personal Watercraft Operators Will Go into Effect if Maine's House Joins the Senate and Approves the Bill (Apr. 2, 1998). The Portland Press Herald reports personal watercraft operators will face new usage restrictions in Maine if the House joins the Senate in passing the proposed legislation. The article, which was provided through the Associated press, says the bill banishes the machines from 245 lakes and ponds and requires a minimum of 16 years of age for operators of personal watercraft-better known by the trade name Jet Skis.

Scientists Find that Oceans are Deafeningly Noisy (Mar. 24, 1998). AAP Newsfeed reports that scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cornell University have found that oceans are extremely noisy. In some places, researchers found, the level of noise is the same as that found in New York's Times Square at midday. Although natural causes create some loud ocean noises, most are the result of human activities. The scientists performed their research using data collected over more than a decade by the US Navy searching for enemy submarines with highly sensitive underwater microphones. The Navy data has recently been made public.

Gates Put Up in Lincoln State Park to Curb Night-Time Noise from Joy Riders (Mar. 19, 1998). The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports the state has installed two gates on the road that circles Olney Pond at Lincoln Woods State Park in an effort to cut down on evening joyriders who speed around the pond with their car radios blasting.

National Parks Noisy and Congested with Traffic, National Conservation Group Says (Mar. 17, 1998). Gannett News Service reports vacationers may be shocked at discovering smog, traffic congestion, and noise from jet skis and sightseeing planes in national parks this summer.

Loud Machinery Regulated by N. Charleston's Noise Ordinance (Mar. 13, 1998). The Post and Courier reports a new North Charleston, South Carolina, noise ordinance passed without comment from the public Thursday night.

Natural Quiet Still Lives in Louisiana Bayou (Jan. 22, 1998). In a column called Tammany Talk, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans printed writer Carol Wolfram's peaceful canoeing experience through the Cane Bayou in Louisiana, part of the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. In the Bayou, Wolfram enjoys the beautiful sounds of silence.

The Plusses and Minuses of Personal Watercraft: Noisy but Popular (Jan. 22, 1998). The Houston Chronicle of Houston, Texas, published a column by Shannon Tompkins, outdoors writer, about personal watercraft. In his column, Tompkins covers the reasons people love PWCs and why others see them as loud nuisances that are highly dangerous.

Idaho Sprint Racers Request Permit for New Course after Noise Complaints (Jan. 19, 1998). The Lewiston Morning Tribune of Lewiston, Idaho, reports that Chapter One Racing is requesting a permit to build a new boat track after noise complaints from a few residents along the Snake River.

Spokane Area Lakes in Critical Condition, Poisoned by Noise, Pollution, Crowds (Jan. 18, 1998). The Spokesman-Review reports several lakes in the Spokane, Washington, area are critically polluted with silt, weeds, noise and overcrowding.

Virginia Residents Sue Marina to Stop Expansion Citing Noise, Danger, and Damage (Jan. 18, 1998). The Roanoke Times & World News reports that residents are opposed to a developer's plan to expand a marina along Becky's Creek in Virginia. Residents are concerned about dock damage and noise. A number of lawsuits on both sides have been filed.

Noise Seminar in Bangkok Reveals Harmful Levels of Noise Throughout City (Jan. 17, 1998). The Bangkok Post reports that inner city residents, traffic police, bus drivers, steersmen and workers at certain factories are at risk of losing their hearing due to traffic and construction noise.

Bangkok, Thailand May Use Old Law to Fine Owners of Noisy Boats (Jan. 13, 1998). The World Times reports that Deputy City Clerk Wanchart Suphachaturas said that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is considering reviving a martial law imposing fines on owners of passenger boats that operate on canals and the river and generate excessive noise.

Park Service Prepares Regulations For Jet Skis on Lake Powell (Jan. 4, 1998). The Salt Lake Tribune reports that federal managers of Lake Powell, one of the West's premier watersports playgrounds, are considering making portions of the Utah-Arizona lake "Jet Ski free."

Across The Nation, Jet Skis Are Making Waves (Dec. 30, 1997). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the increase in boating accidents involving jet skis are yet another cause for their regulation. Noise and other environmental damage are causing some states to regulate the use of jet skis.

Virginia Plans Regulation Of Personal Watercrafts (Dec. 27, 1997). The Virginian-Pilot reports that Jet Skis, WaveRunners and SeaDoos could be limited to Broad Bay and 500 feet or farther off the Chesapeake Bay and ocean beaches, if the draft recommendations of an advisory group are followed.

Industrial Barge Fleet Frightens Louisiana Neighbors (Dec. 17, 1997). The Times-Picayune reports that a proposed grain barge fleeting operation that would be moored on the Mississippi River just across the levee from Destrehan's Red Church subdivision in St. Charles, Louisiana is drawing heated opposition from neighborhood residents and St. Charles Parish Council members.

Bangkok Residents Complain That Boat Noise Causes Hearing Problems (Dec. 6, 1997). The Bangkok Post describes how residents of Bangkok, Thailand are weary of the noise pollution created by boats in Bangkok's canals.

California Officials Consider How To Limit Noise Of Rafting Groups On Kaweah River (Dec. 3, 1997). The Fresno Bee reports that Tulare County, California wants to impose limits on noise river rafters can make as they shoot the rapids on the rocky and challenging Kaweah River.

Boaters Should Consider Noise And Its Effects On Others (Dec.1 1997). Trailer Boats reports that boaters should consider the nuisance of noise on others.

Florida City Considers Restricting Use of Boat Launches to Cut Down on Noise and Traffic for Neighbors (Nov. 26, 1997). The St. Petersburg Times printed an editorial that argues that residents living near Crisp Park in St. Petersburg, Florida deserve relief from the noise and traffic associated with a popular boat launch area in the park. The City Council is considering restricting the use of the boat ramps, and the editorial says councilors should vote in the restrictions.

Grand Canyon Raft Outfitters Agree to Quieter Boat Motors (Nov. 19, 1997). The Orange County Register reports that commercial river-rafting outfitters in Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park have agreed to convert their fleets of rafts to low-noise, low-emission outboards by 2001. The outfitters' announcement came in response to a growing call to quiet the noisy boats by the Park Service in response to the federal government's directive to restore "natural quiet" to the park. Meanwhile, conservation group members said the outfitters recognized they have little choice but to abandon the noisier outboard motors.

Lake Tahoe Jet Ski Ban Challenged by Manufacturers (Oct. 31, 1997). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the nation's jet ski industry filed suit in federal court in Sacramento, California, against Lake Tahoe's ban on personal watercraft. Watercraft manufacturers challenged the suit by arguing that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency exceeded its authority when it adopted the ban, to take effect in June 1999. According to this article, the Lake Tahoe case is of particular importance because as "one of the nation's natural jewels," Lake Tahoe gives this fight "great visibility and importance."

Bangkok Authorities Will Start Enforcing Noise Standard on Boats Traveling in City Canals (Oct. 20, 1997). The Bangkok Post reports that residents in the Klongside area of Bangkok, Thailand will get some relief from the noise generated by boats on the city's canals when authorities begin strong action against them in December. Boats which violate the noise standard of 100 decibels, as specified in the 1992 Environment Act, will face a fine of 1,000 baht, according to Sirithan Boriboon, director general of Pollution Control Department. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Pollution Control Department, the Harbour Department, and the police will combine efforts to instigate the crackdown, the article says.

U.S. Park Service Develops Rules Making it Easier to Ban Personal Watercraft from National Parks (Sep. 19, 1997). AP Online reports that the U.S. National Park Service is developing new rules to make it easier for personal watercraft such as jet skis to be banned in National Parks. The agency has proposed a rule expected to get final approval in late October that would direct local park officials to determine the "appropriateness" of jet ski use in each park and restrict or ban the machines if necessary. The article says there has been a growing concern among many park superintendents about the impact of personal watercraft on the tranquillity of parks.

Temporary Ban Set on Personal Watercraft in National Parks (Sep. 18, 1997). The Star Tribune reports that federal officials announced Wednesday that a moratorium will be imposed on the use of personal watercraft in the National Park System, starting in October. The moratorium could lead to a permanent ban on the machines in many areas of the National Park System, the article says.

Bambardier Announces its New Personal Watercraft is Quieter (Sep. 17, 1997). Business Wire released a press release from Bombadier, a manufacturer of personal watercraft, that says all models of their Sea Doo watercraft and jet boats will have the D-Sea-Bel Noise Reduction System by model-year 1999.

Residents in Massachusetts Town Vote to Uphold Ban on Motorcycles on Frozen Ponds (Sep. 9, 1997). The Patriot Ledger reports that residents in Halifax, Massachusetts voted at last night's special town meeting to keep a ban on motorcycles on the town's frozen waterways. The ban originally was passed at the May town meeting as part of a new boating bylaw. But William Cafarelli had asked that the bylaw be amended to allow motorcycle use between 10 a.m. and dusk, the article says.

Florida Columnist Sneers at Sailboats (Sep. 1, 1997). Orlando Sentinel Tribune printed an editorial in which the writer says it's disgusting to see sailboats cluttering up the beautiful Florida lakes, and that they should be banned in Orange and Seminole counties. He also argues that it's a lie that sailboats produce no noise or pollution and use free energy.

Personal Watercraft in Florida Waters Cause Safety and Noise Problems (Aug. 29, 1997). The Tampa Tribune printed an article outlining the controversy over personal watercraft, known as Jet Skis, in St. Petersburg Beach and other areas in Florida. The article contains an in-depth look at the safety problems with the watercraft, but also outlines some of the noise issues surrounding the watercraft. According to the article, Labor Day weekend is likely to bring more attention to the battle between personal watercraft users and everyone else in the water trying to have a good time.

Maine Resident Decries the Noisiness of Life Outdoors (Aug. 18, 1997). The Kennebec Journal printed an editorial from George Smith, a Mount Vernon, Maine resident, which says that quiet is an important aspect of life in Maine that is not appreciated, understood, protected or respected. The writer goes on to detail several personal experiences he has had with noise or the absence of noise in the outdoors, including noise from trains, personal watercraft, barking dogs, and loud radios, and the affect of noise on fish.

Maine Residents Complain About Personal Watercraft on Local Lakes (Jul. 25, 1997). The Bangor Daily News printed the following letter-to-the-editors from residents in Surry and Cherryfield, Maine regarding noise from personal watercraft on local lakes:

Personal Watercraft Industry Should Take Drastic Action, or Machines Could Face Restrictions on Maine Lakes (Jul. 24, 1997). The Bangor Daily News printed an editorial that discusses the ways in which the personal watercraft industry has started to respond to the irresponsible behavior of many Jet Skiers. The editorial goes on to argue that in the face of strong opposition against personal watercraft on Maine lakes, the industry needs to take more dramatic actions if it doesn't want to see their product banned or restricted on many lakes.

Maryland's Waterways Should Have Speed and Noise Limits (Jul. 23, 1997). The Capital printed an editorial which argues that speed limits on Maryland's Severn, South, and Magothy Rivers should be passed, and noise limits on the rivers also should be strictly enforced.

Resident is Against Personal Watercraft on Maine Lakes (Jul. 23, 1997). The Bangor Daily News printed the following letter-to-the-editor from Robert Siegler, a Lincoln resident, regarding noise from personal watercraft on Maine waters:

Noise and Safety Issues of Powerboats Debated in Maryland (Jul. 13, 1997). The Capital reports that the South River, near Annapolis, Maryland, has become a battleground over restrictions on powerboats. Residents living in the area want a quieter life, and powerboaters want open waters for their fast boats. Last month, two events focused attention on the issues: a state hearing on boat noise regulations, and the death of a man thrown from a speeding high-performance boat. State officials are considering speed limits on the South River and two other rivers, the article says.

Debate Over Water Scooters on Maine Waters Grows (Jul. 5, 1997). The Patriot Ledger reports that the debate in Maine over what to do about water scooters is growing. Critics say the personal watercraft, known by brand names such as Jet Skis or Sea Doos, are noisy and a nuisance, while proponents say the scooters are a great way to draw families to Maine and make money. The state legislature had a chance to pass regulations governing the watercraft this year, but essentially did nothing, the article says.

Jet Skis Banned or More Heavily Policed on Two Idaho Mountain Lakes (Jul. 5, 1997). The Idaho Falls Post Register reports that officials in Custer County, Idaho have banned personal watercraft on Stanley Lake, and have decided to more heavily police them on Redfish Lake due to noise complaints from campers, anglers, and others.

Maryland Considers Permanent State Regulations for Watercraft Decibel Levels on State Waterways (Jun. 29, 1997). The Washington Post reports that after a Maryland state law designed to quiet waterways passed last year, temporary regulations went into effect last summer that restricted noise levels on state waters and made it easier for the rules to be enforced. Now, the state Department of Natural Resources wants to make those regulations permanent, and residents and boaters are once again in conflict, the article reports. The issue is especially important for residents and boaters on South River, the article says.

Maryland Residents and Boaters Fight at Hearing on State Boat Noise Restrictions (Jun. 26, 1997). The Capital reports that at a hearing on state boat noise regulations last night held by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in Annapolis, about 60 riverside residents and power-boaters split two sides of the room and began arguing with each other rather than commenting on noise limits and inspections scheduled to become permanent in August.

Florida County Considers Fees and Restrictions for Jet-Skiers (Jun. 11, 1997). The Florida Times-Union reports that St. Johns County (Florida) Commissioners are considering a new beach code that would charge jet-skiers a $125 annual fee. The first of two public hearings on the proposed beach code was held last night, with both jet-skiers and opponents vocal in their views.

Researchers to Set Underwater Sonic Blasts in Puget Sound; Biologists Worry About Noise Impacts on Marine Mammals (May 30, 1997). The News Tribune reports that scientists plan to set off a succession of underwater blasts in Puget Sound (Washington) next spring to study the geologic faults beneath the region and learn more about which areas are most earthquake-prone. But biologists are worried that the underwater noise could disturb or even harm whales, porpoises, seals, and sea lions in the area.

Vancouver Task Force Presents Recommendations on Urban Noise (May 22, 1997). The Vancouver Sun reports that the Vancouver (British Columbia) Urban Noise Task Force, a residents' committee, recently presented the city with a list of 165 recommendations to lessen urban noise. The article prints excerpts from the report, which includes recommendations with respect to harbor air traffic, transportation noise, and watercraft noise.

Florida Beachside Residents Are Unhappy with Jet Ski Zones (May 10, 1997). The Orlando Sentinel reports that many residents in the New Smyrna Beach, Florida area are unhappy with the "personal watercraft zones" established by Volusia County, because jet skis in the zones are noisy and prevent others from swimming in the area. In response to the complaints, county officials are planning public meetings to talk about creating some new personal watercraft zones that would be rotated with the current zones.

Researchers Study Beluga Whales' Responses to Shipping Noise in Canadian Rivers (May 6, 1997). Newsday reports that a University of Connecticut researcher is studying whether shipping noise in the St. Lawrence and Saugenay Rivers in Quebec could damage the hearing and capacity for survival of beluga whales in the area.

Jet Skiers Banned from Great Yarmouth in England (May 4, 1997). The Sunday Mirror reports that jet skiers have been banned from using an area in Great Yarmouth, England on noise and safety grounds. Jet skiers have also recently been banned from Gorleston and a Norfolk seaside resort on the same grounds.

More People Back Newspaper's Campaign Against Jet Skis in Britain (May 4, 1997). The Sunday Times reports that its own Campaign for Safe Waters in Great Britain has produced letters from many residents who want to restrict jet skis (also called "wet bikes") as well as the support of David Bellamy, environmentalist and president of Coral Cay Conservation, and John Fowles, author and Dorset coast resident.

Long Island Sound, Connecticut Residents Concerned with Oyster Boat Noise (Apr. 27, 1997). The New York Times reports that residents along the waterfront of Long Island Sound are battling with Oyster harvesters over the proprietary rights to the water just offshore from residential neighborhoods.

Jefferson Parish Parish Council Passes Airboat Noise Regulation (Apr. 24, 1997). A new ordinance limiting airboat noise in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, has been passed by the Parish Council, The Times-Picayune reports. One boat owner plans to challenge the new rules.

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