The National Park Service (NPS) is currently reviewing options for restricting personal watercraft (PWC) use in Gulf Islands National Seashore – an area stretching 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Cat Island in Mississippi to the Okaloosa Area in Florida. In response, the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA), an NMMA affiliate organization, is preparing formal comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in opposition to curtailing PWC access.
Public comments will be accepted until Monday, September 17, and PWIA and NMMA are encouraging all stakeholders to weigh in.
Click here to file comments: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=89936.
The plan presents five options that range from a total ban to restrictions on distance from other boats, access to certain islands, and variations regarding emissions. Additional details are available in the “Gulf Islands Draft EIS” on pages 11-12: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=384&projectID=40970&documentID=89936.
NPS will also host three public meetings on the proposal next week:
- 4:00-7:00 pm ET on Tuesday, August 21 at Gulf Islands National Seashore Park Headquarters, 1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563.
- 4:00-7:00 pm ET on Wednesday, August 22 at the Perdido Key Community Center, 1550 Perdido Key Drive, Pensacola, FL 32507.
- 4:00-7:00 pm ET on Thursday, August 23 at the Davis Bayou Visitor Center, 3500 Park Road, Ocean Springs, MS 39564.
For more information, please contact NMMA’s Vice President of State Government Relations, David Dickerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.