National Park Reopens to PWCs

Published online: May 16, 2006 News

Personal watercraft are allowed to return to Gulf Islands National Seashore in Florida and Mississippi, the Personal Watercraft Industry Association recently announced.


"Today another national park has reaffirmed that personal watercraft are among the cleanest and quietest motorboats on the water," Maureen Healey, executive director of the PWIA, said in a recent statement.


The final rule allows PWC use in all park waters, which are open to other types of watercraft.


The environmental study conducted at Gulf Islands National Seashore was completed in April 2004 and concluded PWC present "no unique impact."


In 2002 the National Park Service was required by a court settlement to restrict PWC in 21 park areas pending the results of scientific studies regarding the vessels' impact.


Gulf Islands National Seashore is the 11th park to complete the study. Four other national parks are in the final stages of the rulemaking process to determine if PWC should be allowed back to those areas.