As someone who has worked in the boating industry for 20 years as sales manager of Nisswa Marine, I can attest that we educate all boaters on safety guidelines and best practices when operating a vessel. As it relates to wake surfing, evidence shows that responsible wake surfing can, and does, protect our ecosystem and shoreline. However, I recognize the concerns many have expressed over water sports and understand the unease when considering its effects on the environment.
This is why I support Minnesota lawmakers’ proposed bill that seeks to protect recreational boaters, homeowners and communities alike. The 200-foot setback from shore for all wake surfing activities is an important step. At 200 feet from shore, wakes dissipate faster and sedimentation will not be negatively affected. Legislation like this echoes the boating community’s call for science-based solutions, which strengthen the effects of future regulation.
Based on research, and my extensive experience with these boats, a 200-foot rule paired with education like Wake Responsibly will drastically reduce the social and environmental impacts of wake boats. It will do so without over-regulating or completely closing off large portions of our waterways. Educating our boaters and lakeside communities presents the opportunity to implement regulations that allow outdoor recreation to thrive. We can achieve waterway, shoreline, and aquatic ecosystem protection through a commitment to science-based solutions and legislation. Education needs to be prioritized so everyone has a chance to engage in safe and courteous waterway behavior.
Nisswa Marine sales manager