OUR VIEWS: Slow down on posting no-wake zone

Sep 4, 2012

We applaud the townships for not jumping in with both feet; instead taking the time to gather information before making a ruling.

People who live on the Grand River need to understand that the river is there for others to use and enjoy, and not just for their private use. Many have used that stretch of river for various activities for many years with minimal incidents, and to take the river away from people would be mistake.

If you build a house in a subdivision that backs up to a highway, one should expect to hear traffic. If you build near a wetland, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear gunfire during waterfowl hunting season. If you live on the water, you should expect to hear and see boats going faster than no-wake speed.

If, after consulting with the state, township officials decide to enact a no-wake zone on the river, some consideration must be given as to how the speed zone will be enforced. If it is determined that enforcement would be difficult, what’s the point?

The Grand River is a great place to spend time, especially during the summer. Boaters must exercise good judgment, and operate their vessels in a responsible manner so the river can continue to be enjoyed by all.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.
 

Comments

newspaperlawyer

Spring Lake on the weekend is more dangerous than the Grand River with all size of boats operating full throttle. Maybe what needs to be done is look at the size of boats making the wakes.. or if its the personal water crafts operating in a unsafe matter then enforcement needs take effect. But really the issue here is land owner need to realize that the Grand River is not their property. If they don't like the nose or wake then they should move off the water. The land owners on Spring Lake which included a county board member has been able to convince the Twps to in act twp ordinances against the boaters which only local law enforcement can enforce. In fact the land owners were paying for additional patrols at one point. I'm sure if someone challenge the laws they maybe found to be not valid. You certainly can not do this on Lake Michigan waters. The Grand River/Spring Lake is considered attached to the great lakes. so the local law enforcement, State Police, DNR and the US Coast Guard have the enforcement rights. Michigan Law is very clear on waterway also. So maybe what we should look at is reducing the size of boats that can operate at full speed.. because a PW or 18 -20 ft boat at a fast speed surely does not cause the amount of damage that a 26 ft and above boat does... I've watched several 26 ft above at half throttle drive right by the Sheriff Department on Spring Lake and no stop... but they continue to stalk the PWC.

43°North

I believe the low accident rate in that area is due to the fact that boaters already thought it was no wake, and treated that section as such. It wouldn't hurt boaters to slow down and enjoy the view. I like kayaking in the no-wake zones and shallow areas of the Grand River. In the boating lanes, many boat pilots have no respect for kayaks, racing past you creating huge wakes just to see if they can swamp you, and laughing as they pass. Others are better. Why create a huge wake that will knock down the unprotected shoreline in the area? There is plenty of water in this area to open up your engines, and this should not be one of them, sorry Trib staff.

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