Rec'd the following message in an email. I hope the boarding/boating community is organizing its efforts to prevent further restrictions on the Willamette.
Dear Ross Island No Wake Zone Supporters,
We invite you to attend the Oregon State Marine Board's FINAL hearing on the Ross Island No Wake Zone proposal.
The Marine Board will accept limited public testimony regarding the proposed rules for the Holgate Channel and Ross Island Lagoon.
Please do what you can to attend this hearing as large numbers of supporters (and opponents) really do make a difference in this decision-making process!
when: Monday, July 27th, 6pm-9pm
where: Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave
2nd Floor Auditorium
What you should know
The Marine Board staff is recommending the following proposed language for discussion at this meeting.
No person shall operate a recreational watercraft in excess of slow-no-wake in the following area:
· Ross Island Lagoon
· Holgate Channel from a line extending northeast from the north side of the Ross Island Lagoon mouth to the east side of the channel, and to a line extending from the southern (upstream) tips of Ross Island due south to the Oregon Yacht Club.
· This restriction does not apply to commercially operated vessels including those owned or operated for sand and gravel operations.
Click here to see a map of the area
*It is important to note that we will be requesting that coaching safety launches for rowers and dragon boaters be exempt from the restrictions. These crafts travel slightly over the slow-no-wake speed of 5mph.
*While this is the second time our original proposal has been modified, we feel that this latest compromise is better than a no action at all.
In March, the Marine Board received a petition, which was modified in April, requesting a no-wake-zone in the Holgate Channel between Ross Island and the east bank of the Willamette River and in the Ross Island Lagoon. The petition was submitted by Friends of Ross Island: Willamette Riverkeeper, the Urban Green Spaces Institute, and the Portland Audubon Society. A public hearing was held May 27 with public comment accepted throughout May.
--Our goal is to decrease wakes and speed that negatively impact other river users and increase the level of safety. As it is today, many people have had close calls, whether in rowing shells, or other craft. Or, perhaps you've been swamped in a small boat. Come and tell your story.
--We want to create conditions that better fit the Wildlife Refuge aspect of the Ross Island Property with the new 44 acre addition now owned by the City of Portland.
--Ross Island is a special place and we feel that of the lower 26.5 miles of the Willamette, it is not too much to ask for a small, side channel of the Willamette to be set aside where everyone slows down.
--Access is still available for everyone. Motor boats can still utilize Holgate Channel and the Lagoon, they just can't have wakes.
--Power Boaters have all of the 26.5 mile main channel of the river from the Columbia to Willamette Falls to cruise at full speed with wakes.
As before, there will be STIFF opposition from wake boarders, water skiers, and jet skiers. This is not about shutting off the Willamette to these users! It's about creating a safe, quiet area for kayakers, canoeists, and fishers on one side of the Willamette, leaving the entire rest of the 26 miles of the Willamette to higher speed, motorized craft.
THANK YOU for your support!
Friends of Ross Island: Willamette Riverkeeper, the Audubon Society of Portland, and the Urban Greenspaces Institute