PETITION TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Restore Personal Watercraft Access along the Intracoastal Waterway through Biscayne National Park to Protect Boater Safety
Boaters in South Florida who operate personal watercraft (PWC) need immediate help from the National Park Service. It is imperative that PWC access be restored through the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) where it traverses through Biscayne National Park in Miami, Florida. Today, because of a National Park Service ban on PWC in Biscayne National Park enacted in 2000, PWC operators are forced to circumvent the park some 12 miles out into the open ocean to travel from Key Biscayne to Key Largo. This poses a serious safety hazard and puts boaters at an unnecessary risk.
Meanwhile, all other types of boats-from cabin cruisers to speed boats-are free to navigate along the ICW. Only PWC are forced out into the open ocean because of this National Park Service ban.
It would be safer for PWC operators to travel the 17 miles of the ICW that traverses through Biscayne National Park, just like every other boater. The National Park Service should take immediate action to allow PWC in the Park. It would be tragic and unnecessary if a serious injury or fatality occurred because of the current ban.
We need immediate action to ensure PWC operators are provided a safe passage via the Intracoastal Waterway. PWC are permitted on the ICW in every other area on the Atlantic seaboard, except for this one 17 miles stretch.
This is a matter of common sense and boater safety.