2002-04-06 / Editorial/Opinion

A Quieter Summer For Rockaway

A Quieter Summer For Rockaway

The Department of the Interior, the agency that controls Gateway National Recreation Area, has adopted new rules that will ban personal watercraft such as jet skis, waverunners, etc., from any waters controlled by the park. That includes much of Jamaica Bay, from Breezy Point to Kennedy Airport. In addition, it will be illegal to launch such watercraft from such local spots as Beach Channel High School. We like the idea. One of the charms of living in Rockaway is sitting at a bayfront restaurant such as The Wharf or Pier 92 and enjoying the sun setting over the bay. The reverie was often broken by the roar of some would be cowboy who wanted to show those on the shore just how high a rooster tail his ski doo could throw. Hopefully, under the new rules, that will no longer be the case. The United State Park Police and the Federal Rangers from the park will enforce the new rules. The Department of the Interior says that the new rules reflect the personal watercraft’s "impact on park resources, conflicts with the enjoyment of other visitors and safety concerns." In light of the number of people who have been severely injured by plowing into bridge pilings and other water craft and in light of the noise the individual watercraft makes, we agree. It is certainly a step in the right direction for those who want to enjoy the bay without the ubiquitous noisy and dangerous craft.

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