PETITION TO POLICYMAKERS
As representatives of the recreational boating and water sports community, we write you to highlight the importance of providing wake sports with reasonable and responsible access. At a time when a small, but vocal group is spreading misleading and inaccurate information, we believe it is necessary to correct the record and provide the facts about wake sports.
Each year, the U.S. recreational boating industry generates more than $170 billion in economic activity, supports 35,000 businesses and 691,000 American jobs. Wake boats are among the fastest growing sectors of the industry, and this trend is tied directly to the continuation of these economic contributions.
The economic benefits provided by wake sports extend beyond boating specific companies. From local convenience stores to family owned and operated restaurants, countless small businesses rely on revenue generated by boaters. Additionally, boating access is also an important factor in home values, with waterfront homes generally commanding double in the marketplace. Restricting boating opportunities would threaten local economies and real estate values for waterfront and nearby communities.
According to a study by Clifford Goudey – an ocean engineer and naval architect who is one of the most distinguished experts on wave science – waves from wake boats, when operated at least 200 feet or more from shore, do not carry enough energy to have a significant impact on most shorelines or on properly-maintained docks and other man-made structures. In fact, a wake boat passing a section of shoreline every nine minutes is less damaging than naturally occurring waves from a 10-mph wind with one mile of fetch. While a boat wake coming ashore can seem like a significant event, in the larger scheme of things, it can be of little consequence if that shore also experiences wind-driven waves.
From manufacturers, to dealers, to boaters, the boating community is proactively supporting boater education efforts and the adoption of widespread safety measures to ensure the wellbeing and enjoyment of all participants on the water. We educate wake sport enthusiasts to stay at least 200 feet from shore, avoid repetitive passes, and, just as important, be respectful of others.
As stewards of the environment and the communities where we live and work, the recreational boating community continues to collaboratively address environmental protection and safety throughout our waterways. We appreciate the opportunity to provide the truth about wake sports.