On Wednesday, February 15, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will give the public an opportunity to react to their proposed rule on the use of wake boats in Vermont.
A meeting will be held in Greensboro at the Highland Center for the Arts and via Microsoft Teams. JoAnn Hanowski, co-chair of the Greensboro Association’s Lakes and Environmental Stewardship Committee, will be representing the GA at this meeting. There are concerns that the DEC proposal of a 500′ distance from shore requirement for wake boating is not enough to prevent harm to both the environment and other boaters and lakeshore owners. There will be opportunity for public comment at this meeting; to sign up for a 2-minute time slot to speak, go to https://forms.office.com/g/ayJuuH9923.
A group called RWVL (Responsible Wakes for VT Lakes) is pushing back on the DEC to consider getting closer to their proposed 1000’ distance from shore requirement. RWVL is a group of concerned Vermonters, many of whom are year-round and seasonal lake and pond residents. To learn more about the RWVL position, go to http://responsiblewakes.org/ . Vermont Business Magazine has additional information on this issue and it can be found here: https://vermontbiz.com/news/2023/january/31/vermont-dec-releases-draft-rule-wake-boat-regulation
Currently Caspian Lake boaters must travel at no-wake speed and not over 5 mph within 200’ of the shoreline, a person in the water, a canoe, rowboat or other vessel, a designated swim area, or any anchorage or dock. In addition, use of jet skis, personal watercraft or any other Class A vessel which uses an inboard engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive power is prohibited. The wake from a boat must not endanger anyone else. Canoes, kayaks and paddle boards are especially vulnerable to high-wake turbulence, and boaters are responsible for any act which endangers or jeopardizes the safety, life or property of another person. Finally, loons, ducks and other birds are especially sensitive to boat traffic. It is a punishable offense to kill or harass any water bird through the operation of a boat on any Vermont lake.
As JoAnn has pointed out, “The state of Vermont has total jurisdiction over the use of public waters. Any change to public use on Caspian Lake, including a ban on wakeboat operation would require a petition to the DEC. In any scenario (the current DEC revised petition, the original petition, or no ruling) Greensboro will be faced with managing wakeboat access and use on Caspian via our greeter program and through public education.”
Please consider making your voice heard on this important topic!
For any questions please contact membership@greensboroassociation. org.