The National Park Service is currently considering options for restricting personal watercraft use in Gulf Islands National Seashore, an area that stretches from the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Cat Island in Mississippi to Okaloosa County in Florida.
The Personal Watercraft Industry Association, a National Marine Manufacturers Association affiliate, is preparing formal comments in a draft Environmental Impact Statement opposing the potential restrictions.
Public comments will be accepted until Monday, September 17, and the PWIA and NMMA are encouraging industry stakeholders to comment at this link.
The park service’s plan presents five options that range from an outright ban to restrictions on distance from other boats, access to certain islands and restrictions on emissions. Additional details can be found on pages 11 and 12 of the Gulf Islands Draft.
The service will hold 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.