Bluewater Network Announces Ten Best Places to Avoid Jetskis in 2005

Bluewater Network Announces Ten Best Places to Avoid Jetskis in 2005

Sean Smith, 415-544-0790, ext. 19



San Francisco, CA – Bluewater Network, a division of Friends of the Earth has just released its list for the top ten places to avoid jetskis in 2005. This year’s list is a testament to the communities taking a stand against the billion dollar jetski industry and protecting their waterways from these highly-polluting and dangerous craft. While some restrictions such as those in San Juan County, Washington are rock solid and have been upheld by the courts, other bans like those surrounding two wildlife refuges in Florida are under a renewed threat from the jetski industry.

“This list is for the millions of travelers who enjoy a more nature-based vacation without the pollution and noise caused by jetskis,” said Sean Smith Bluewater Network’s public lands director. “These places are a reflection of what concerned citizens can do to protect their lives, communities, and businesses from these thrillcraft”

Bluewater Network’s Ten Best Places to Avoid Jetskis in 2005:

1. Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges – Florida

The waters surrounding the Great White Heron and Key West National Wildlife Refuges, which contain picturesque settings, and spectacular fishing opportunities, have been closed to jetskis for more than 10 years. However, the jetski industry is bringing new pressure upon the state and federal government to overturn the ban. Thankfully, the Bush Administration appears to be standing up to industry’s efforts for now.

2. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Michigan
Despite environmental assessments showing that a continued jetski ban is the best way to protect Pictured Rocks’ resources and wildlife, the Park Service is considering allowing the machines at this beautiful lakeshore.

3. San Juan Islands –Washington
Well-known for its spectacular beauty and marine wildlife, San Juan County was the first local government to ban jetskis. The San Juan ban has served as a model for countless other communities seeking to regulate jetskis.

4. Biscayne National Park – Florida
Last year, the Personal Watercraft Industry pulled out all the stops in a well funded effort to inject their thrillcraft into this park which is home to the endangered Florida manatee. Bluewater Network’s grassroots effort stopped them.

5. San Francisco Bay Area – California
Over the past ten years, city, county, and federal agencies in the San Francisco Bay area have enacted at least 9 jetski closures affecting hundreds of square miles of regional waters. Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, in the North Bay, is the most recent site to ban the machines.

6. Kachemak Bay – Alaska
The sizeable bay near Homer Alaska is home to abundant wildlife and Kachemak Bay State Park. One thing that isn’t in abundance is jetskis – they’re prohibited. In 1999 local business leaders, homeowners, and other concerned citizens ran a text book grassroots campaign against the industry and protected their home waters.

7. Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashore – North Carolina
These two national seashores provide some of the best fishing and surfing on the east coast, in part because jetskis are prohibited, though the Park Service is under pressure to let the machines back in.

8. Lake Willoughby – Vermont
Local activists armed with little more than the facts, the law, and some help from Bluewater weathered an all out industry lobbying blitzkrieg and protected this idyllic lake. Located in northeastern Vermont, Lake Willoughby is known for its crystal clear water, natural sand beaches and great fishing.

9. Gulf Islands National Seashore – Florida/Mississippi
The tranquil waters of Gulf Islands are in jeopardy due to a pending Park Service decision to lift a ban on jetskis, which Bluewater is working to stop. Currently, visitors can enjoy white sand beaches, blue waters, coastal marshes, maritime forests, and two islands protected as federal wilderness areas without the intrusion of the craft.

10. Missouri National Recreation River – South Dakota/Nebraska
When the Park Service considered allowing jetskis back into this area, the public responded with a resounding “no” – and the agency listened. Today, visitors can experience the river and its wildlife in a similar way that Lewis and Clark did in at least one sense – without jetskis.

Honorable Mention

• Cape Cod National Seashore – Massachusetts

• Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area – Georgia

• Blaine County – Idaho

• Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge – Kentucky

• Voyageurs National Park – Minnesota

• Big Thicket National Preserve – Texas

• Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge – Alabama

• Grand Canyon National Park — Arizona