Campaign to restore PWC use gaining momentum

MIAMI – The BOAT Biscayne Coalition will hold a press conference on Feb. 16 at the Miami International Boat Show to talk about new steps it is taking to bring personal watercraft back to Biscayne National Park and the next steps it is taking to end the current ban, the organization said in a statement Friday.

A new economic impact study will be released at the press conference. The EIS estimates the total impact PWC bans at national parks, like the one at Biscayne National Park, have on the national economy and local businesses.

Maureen Healey, Personal Watercraft Industry Association; Joe Martinez, a Miami resident and PWC user; a South Florida PWC dealership owner; and other speakers will be on hand to discuss the ban.

PWC have been banned from the waters of Biscayne National Park since 2000. There are nearly 18,000 registered PWC in South Florida. The bans have caused irreparable economic damage to the U.S. economy and the small businesses that depend on tourism, the BOAT Biscayne Coalition said.

To date, 15 other national parks have commissioned a PWC environmental assessment and each has concluded that there is no reason to ban the vessels on waters that allow other types of motorboating.

The press conference will be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 16 in room A201 of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

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