The bill, which was recommended “ought to pass” by the committee in a 10-9 party-line vote. (Dave Cummings | New Hampshire Bulletin)
In a unanimous vote, the Senate passed a proposal on Thursday to protect fragile marshlands in the state’s coastal region. House Bill 184 would prevent people from taking jet skis within 300 feet of the Rye estuary and the New Castle back channel, areas that are environmentally sensitive. Jet skis have been banned from the Hampton-Seabrook estuary since 2019.
Sen. Tom Sherman, a Democrat from Rye, said that the “pristine watershed” is home to waterfowl and nesting bald eagles.
“It is indeed very fragile,” he said. “It is an area that is spectacular for kayaking, canoeing, trolling, but with personal watercraft, there’s a concern that they’re damaging the underwater environment.”
The proposal applies to all “personal water craft,” or jet skis, except those operated by police, fire, or emergency services.
If the bill is signed into law, it would take effect immediately and be enforced by the New Hampshire Marine Patrol.
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