We have great news – our mission to increase public access to towed watersports in the Newberg Pool is one step closer to reality. The Oregon Legislature is now accepting public comment on our bill. The opposition is already weighing in and we need EVERY boater in Oregon to take two minutes today to show legislators that the majority of the community supports reform. Please submit your written comment here by Wednesday, February 14 at 11:59pm.
By adding your voice to this cause, elected officials can hear from real people in their communities on the issues that matter to them. Below are some talking points and instructions to assist you with the process. Even if you already signed the petition we need you to submit written comment too.
How to Submit Testimony:
• Visit the Testimony Submission form for SB 1590 here.
• Fill in the name, residence and email address fields
• Choose "support" for your position on this bill
• Write in your text testimony
• Tell the Oregon Legislature why you support this bill. Even a few sentences is fine. Include a personalized note on how this bill will impact your family or business.
Sample talking points to consider for your testimony:
• SB 1590 will increase public access to towed water sports for hundreds of families along the Newberg Pool. This includes restoring carefully planned zones by the OSMB, shaped with input from diverse river stakeholders including small businesses, environmentalists and homeowners. These zones ensure safety for river users and the environment by limiting towed water sports to suitable areas.
• SB 1590 carries forward the Oregon State Marine Board’s Newberg Pool Towed Watersports Education Program so boaters remain informed about the latest boater safety measures, effective wave management techniques and operator responsibilities.
• Implementing a standardized factory weight limit not only prevents larger boats from towing riders but also streamlines enforcement. The present weight limit (combined factory dry weight and ballast) has no national standard which has posed significant challenges for consumers to determine if their boat is eligible and for the marine board to accurately enforce.
• Waves created by boats from a safe distance (i.e. 200 feet+ from shore) do not significantly impact shorelines according to peer-reviewed scientific studies.
• Residential development is the leading source of human-caused erosion in the Newberg Pool according to ecological restoration engineer David Gorman. Moreover, natural occurrences such as winter storms have a much greater impact on erosion than boating.
• There is no empirical evidence or peer-reviewed study that links the current restrictions to having any positive effect on fish populations. Wake sports largely take place in the summer, outside of key migratory or spawning months. Studies show that wake boats waves, when operated at least 200 feet from shore, do not carry enough energy to have a significant impact on most shorelines.
For more information on the proposed legislation, visit https://www.oregonfamiliesforboating.org/actnow.