Enjoying water sports on Lake Fairlee.

Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes (RWVL) is a collaborative group of citizens from across Vermont who began working together in March of 2021 based on a collective concern about the adverse effects from wake surf boats and wake-enhanced sports on Vermont lakes and ponds. Our group represents individuals from inland lakes and ponds with a full range of water-based recreational interests.

RWVL petitioned Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources to adopt a rule to manage wake surfing activity on Vermont waters. This website introduces you to the reasons for our petition, the science that supports it, and the economic impact of the proposed rule.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has drafted a rule in response to our petition, and plans to begin formal rulemaking in January of 2023. They will conduct a pre-rule making meeting on February 15 to receive comments on what they have drafted. You may sign up to provide feedback, in person at Greensboro, or virtually.

While RWVL applauds the Department of Environmental Conservation for its work to advance a wakeboat rule, we would like to see their draft made stronger. Their current draft does not fully achieve our goals to protect Vermont’s lakes and lake users both today and into the future. The rule should go further to better protect Vermont’s most vulnerable lakes from the present and future damage and dangers of wake sports.

The original petition from the RWVL called for wakeboats to operate no closer than 1000 feet from shore, in water at least 20 feet deep, in an area of 60 or more contiguous acres. These parameters are supported by scientific research and by the reality of life on Vermont lakes where wakeboats have already appeared. 

The rule drafted by DEC reduces the distance from from 1000 to 500 feet, and reduces the area of the from 60 to 50 contiguous acres. The DEC’s draft rule would not adequately protect Vermont’s lakes and ponds from damage caused by wakeboats.  It would allow wakeboats on many lakes too small to accommodate them safely. RWVL has compiled a list showing how each lake would be affected with offsets of 1000 and 500 feet.

if you’d like to be kept informed of the progress of the rule making, please go to the News page and sign up to receive our newsletters by email.

If you’d like to make others aware of RWVL’s efforts, you may use our sample text to compose your own letter of support.

Contact RWVL at info@responsiblewakes.org

RWVL Picture Story Book

Wake Boats Educational Handout

Sample Letter of Support

Please Note: While the RWVL will periodically update and verify the links on this page, the RWVL is not responsible for the day-to-day functionality of the links. The RWVL is also not responsible for the content or accuracy of any non-RWVL links. Posting of hyperlinks does not signify endorsement by RWVL nor responsibility for hyperlink contents nor for any associated organizations.

RWVL will only use the information you send us here to send you news about Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes. We never share this information with anyone else. You may unsubscribe at any time.