The environmental impacts of boating : proceedings of a workshop held at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole MA USA, December 7 to 9, 1994 Report uri icon

abstract

  • Substantiated impacts of boating activity discussed at this workshop include: sediment and contaminant resuspension and resultant turbidity; laceration of aquatic vegetation with loss of faunal habitat and substrate stabilty; toxic effects of chemical emissions of boat engines; increased turbulence; shearing of plankton; shorebird disturbance; and the biological effects of chemically treated wood used in dock and bulkhead construction. These discussions revealed that many of the issues of concern remain inadequately defined and described. But sufficient hard data was referred to or presented to substantiate the inference that recreational and commercial motor boat operation is far from a benign influence on aquatic and marine environments. This is particularly so in temperate climates due to the unfortunate synchrony, with only a few exceptions, between the peak seasons for boating and the occurence of planktonic embryonic and larval stages of vertebrates and invertebrates in estuaries and coastal waters. Therefore, the chance of plants and organisms being afected by power boat operation appears to be substantial in shallow, heavily used boating areas such as those along the entire U.S. eastern and Gulf coasts. As such, motor boat operation should be conducted and managed in such a manner as to minimize those impacts.

publication date

  • March 1998