This edition of the RWVL newsletter arrives at a crucial point in our quest to regulate wakesports on Vermont lakes. It describes the new location for the public hearing on August 1; it describes the growing public support for a strong rule; it points to the favorable press reports and opinion pieces that our work has received; and it explains what you can do now to help get a strong rule through the process.
New location for rally and public hearing
Because of flooding in Montpelier, the in-person hearing on the rule has been moved to the Richmond Free Library, just off Interstate 89 halfway between Montpelier and Burlington. The hearing is set for 5 PM; RWVL supporters will rally at 4 PM in the same room as the hearing. Please join us in this important show of support for a strong rule.
Growing public support
More and more individuals and lake associations have lined up in support of a strong rule (1000 feet from shore rather than 500 feet). They are sending letters to the Department of Environmental Conservation within the Agency of Natural Resources, asking them to propose a stronger rule. Here are excerpts from four such letters:
From Will Melton at Lake Raponda:
Although only a handful of wake boats have appeared on Lake Raponda, we have witnessed vividly the problems they bring. Paddle boarders have been swamped by the large waves from wake surfing; four shoreline residents have told me their docks have been dislodged; longtime swimmers say they believe that their safety is at risk whenever wake surfing is underway. Most surprising has been the vocal opposition to wake surfing of many of the lake’s most avid motor boaters.
From the Greensboro Association at Caspian Lake:
The Greensboro Association Board is unanimous in its support for the Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes rule petition with the 1000-foot shoreline buffer. We strongly feel that this measure protects more shorelines from erosion, protects more loons and other wildlife from harm, protects more people from hazardous waves, and bans the use of wake boats / wave sports from more of the small to medium size lakes and ponds.
From Chris Owen at Holland Pond:
Wake boats: Their incursion into Vermont’s inland waterways is already causing erosion, raising phosphorus levels and disrupting traditional uses of Vermont’s public waters. If their use remains unbridled, wake boats will spread invasive aquatic species, disrupt loon nests and dominate lakes and ponds to the exclusion of traditional users.
From John and Patti Reid from Woodbury:
Our position is that they should not be allowed at all on any Vermont body of water. The department’s proposed 500-feet-from-shore buffer is inadequate, and would allow these boats to cause damage and compromise safety on many mid-size Vermont lakes and ponds. We realize another consideration is a 1,000-foot buffer, and if comes down to allowing these boats at all, we support the 1,000-foot buffer. But only if those are the only two choices. Really, what ANR should do, is ban wake-enhancing boats in Vermont.
Over the last year and a half, our work has generated 47 favorable news articles, opinion pieces, and cartoons in the Vermont press. You may review these on the Media page of our Responsible Wakes website. Here are links to four recent pieces:
• If Loons Could Talk, Montpelier Bridge, July 11, 2023
• Why give wake boat owners control of most of our lakes?, VTDigger, July 7, 2023
• For wake boats, 1000 feet of separation is right, VTDigger, July 6, 2023
• Final public meetings on wake boat regulations, Barton Chronicle, July 5, 2023
We would not have made this progress without the outpouring of support from people like you. Please keep it up. Here’s how:
- Send a letter of support for a strong rule to the Agency of Natural Resources, before August 10.
- Speak at the public hearing in Richmond on August 1.
- Come to the RWVL rally in Richmond on August 1.
- Sign up to speak at the online public hearing on August 3.