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