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Jet-skis Banned by the National Park Service

As of April 20th, 2002, the National Park Service is banning personal watercraft (such as jet-skis) from all but 21 of their 379 national parks, recreation areas, and seashores. Even at the ten national recreational areas where water-related recreation has been "a primary purpose" since their creation, the superintendents of the parks have the authority to impose restrictions if necessary. Why? Jet skis use two-stroke engines and dump unburned fuel directly into the water as they travel. If a jet-ski flips over in the water, it can easily dump the contents of its oil and gasoline tanks, spilling toxic pollutants into the environment. The effects of jet skis are so obvious that they were recently banned from use in Lake Tahoe in an attempt to keep the water blue and to prevent excess pollution. As reports the Associated Press, "Environmentalists and conservation groups criticized the Park Service for not banning the motorized water craft outright, arguing that they pollute the water and disturb the tranquility of parks with their noise, as well as pose safety hazards." The Personal Watercraft Industry Association says the ban is too broad.

Sources

Planning and Conservation League and Planning and Conservation League Foundation. "Off-Road Vehicles Degrade Air and Water Quality." Online. http://www.pcl.org/orv/air.html. March 2002.

American Rivers. River Currents (Online Journal.) "Water Recreation." March 24, 2000.http://twri.tamu.edu/watertalk/archive/2000-Mar/Mar-27.1.html. March 2002.

 

 


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