The Bulletin Board

Senate approves environmental protection for coastal marshlands

By: - April 22, 2021 11:38 am
State flag and state house dome

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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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s energy and environment reporter. She previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.

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