Thank you to the boating community for submitting public comment to the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB), asking them to repeal misguided regulations recently enacted on the Lower Willamette River.
Earlier this year, the OSMB banned wake surfing and heavily restricted all towed sports, including tubing, skiing and wakeboarding on almost 13 miles of the Lower Willamette River from downtown Portland to Willamette Falls. Members of Oregon Families for Boating filed a petition with the OSMB requesting the regulations be repealed. Those filings allege that the Lower Willamette rules, and the lack of transparency in which they were enacted, violate several state laws. We proposed a better way for all water enthusiasts to share the river that reduces negative impact on the boating community and local small businesses. Having boaters voice support of this repeal was a crucial part of the process.
The Oregon State Marine Board will consider the appeal at a meeting on Monday, June 14. We will keep the boating community updated about the status of our appeal.
Oregon Families for Boating is proposing the following solutions to allow a wide variety of river enthusiasts to safely share the Lower Willamette River. This plan offers additional protection for motorized and non-motorized users launching from Willamette Park, floating homeowners and Oregon Yacht Club members. Protections are retained for Oaks Park Boathouse and Waverly Marina. In addition, paddlers are prioritized in the morning hours.
Slow No Wake Zone ½ mile adjacent to the park. Protects swimmers, paddlers and floating homes in this congested area.
Pass through zone across this entire stretch of the river. Protects floating homes and paddlers in this congested area.
No towed sports before 10am. Gives paddlers a window to have the river free from boat traffic.