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Newberg Pool Bill Stalled in House

February 23, 2022 - Thank you boaters for your unwavering commitment to show legislators how devastating SB 1589 would be to our community. Clearly your phone calls, emails and testimony are being heard because the bill did NOT move

forward today. The House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources

did not feel they had enough time to consider the bill this late in the session and moved it to the House Committee on Rules. While this is a small victory, the bill is still ALIVE. The Rules Committee and the House of Representatives now have until 3/6 to decide on SB 1589.

We know several of you are rightfully frustrated you did not get to testify today as there was limited time at the hearing. Stay tuned for another opportunity to testify before the Rules Committee soon. It’s imperative we continue to keep this momentum alive. We also encourage you to upload your testimony into the record by 1 PM tomorrow (2/24).



●     Go to:

●     On the testimony submission form, choose the meeting date “2/23/2022 1:00 PM” from the drop-down menu.

●     Select 'SB 1589’' from the bill list

●     Fill in the name, email address and city of residence fields

●     Choose ‘oppose’ for position on this bill

●     Choose 'text testimony'

●     Tell the Oregon Legislature why you oppose this bill. A few sentences are fine. Include how this bill will impact your family or business.


SB 1589 will strip safe, socially distant outdoor opportunities for hundreds of families along the Newberg Pool and impact local small businesses who depend on their support.


Residential development, not boat wakes, is the primary human-caused source of erosion. There is broad agreement that the lack of native vegetation and homeowner mismanagement of native trees has caused the majority of erosion. Furthermore, natural occurrences such as last winter’s storm have a greater impact on river health than boating.


There is no empirical evidence or peer-reviewed study that links the proposed 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.


This bill fails to address the primary causes of declines in salmon and steelhead abundance in the Willamette Basin. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service latest report degraded habitat conditions due to land use and development activities, predation, hatchery practices, and dam passage - not boat wakes - are the primary concerns.


The Newberg Pool is already one of the most regulated bodies of water in Oregon. Wake surfers are subject to a weight limit, required to obtain a special safety certification and only allowed in two small zones with no adjacent homes or docks.


This bill not only exacerbates safety issues, but it also fails to solve a primary issue  enforcement. The state has already struggled to enforce the extensive laws and rules we have, and the bill does not address how to deal with the worst offenders who make the river dangerous for everybody. 


Subjecting only towed water sports enthusiasts to a weight limit is overtly biased. A 5,000-pound fishing boat can produce a similar wake to the same size tow boat. Furthermore a 15,000 cabin cruiser that produces a wake far greater than any wake surfing boat can still operate freely under this legislation.