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E-M:/ Jetskis in Pictured Rocks

Enviro-Mich message from John Rebers <jrebers@nmu.edu>

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is doing an environmental assessment to
decide if personal watercraft (jet-skis) should be banned in the quarter-mile
zone offshore for which the park has jurisdiction. The Mining Journal
(Marquette) has a story posted on line - go to
<<http://upgroup.com/journal/>http://upgroup.com/journal/> and select local
stories. This will probably only be available until August 20 or so. Please
write to support the "no action" alternative, which would result in a ban on
PWCs. A sample letter, including the address to write to, is below.


John Rebers
Central UP Sierra Club

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Personal Watercraft Assessment Task Force
PO Box 40
N8391 Sand Point Road
Munising, MI 498620040

Dear Sir or Madam:

 I am writing to support the no-action alternative for the environmental
assessment of personal watercraft use in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore,
which would result in banning personal watercraft (PWCs) within the
quarter-mile surface jurisdiction of Pictured Rocks. Although the impact of
PWCs extends far beyond a quarter-mile, such a ban would still have a positive
impact upon the park, since prohibiting launching or landing PWCs from park
beaches would be likely to decrease the number of PWCs zooming back and forth
along the shore.
 There are several reasons why I feel PWC use is inappropriate in Pictured
Rocks. First of all, a significant amount of the fuel from these craft will
up in Lake Superior, polluting the water and impacting the plants and animals
that live in the lake. Many of the organic compounds that are emitted are
long-lived and bioaccumulative. We should not allow the waters immediately
offshore of a national park to be degraded in this way.
 Second, PWC operation results in noise that impairs the experience of park
visitors for miles around. The sound carries not only along the lakeshore, but
for a significant distance inland. I have been on several hiking trips in
Pictured Rocks where the roar of PWCs could be heard long before we reached
shoreline. Banning PWCs from the quarter-mile zone off the shore of Pictured
Rocks would mitigate if not eliminate this problem. Whether a visitor has come
to hike, to kayak, or simply to enjoy the scenery at Sand Point or Miners
Castle after strolling over from the parking lot, the persistent whine of jet
skis along the shore negatively affects their experience.
 Finally, some PWC riders operate irresponsibly in a manner that endangers
swimmers and visitors in non-motorized craft. Although this behavior is not
universal, it is common enough to cause concern whenever a PWC is nearby.
 There are thousands of other places where PWCs be operated. Their use has a
negative impact on most of the visitors to Pictured Rocks and is not
with the Parks mission. Please ban these machines from the portion of Lake
Superior where Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has jurisdiction.


John Rebers
John Rebers (jrebers@nmu.edu)
Central Upper Peninsula Group, Sierra Club
338 West Crescent Street
Marquette, MI  49855

906-228-3617 (H)
906-227-1585 (w)

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