Expanded No-Wake Zone Remains Crucial in Flood-Impacted Regions
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has authorized the Commissioner of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to extend the 5 mile per hour boating speed limit on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River through Saturday, September 2. Vessels operating within 600 feet of shore must observe the 5 mile per hour speed limit to reduce impacts to shoreline residences and infrastructure caused by wave action and to promote safe boating.
"High water continues to impact homeowners and businesses along the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and by extending the no-wake zone for an additional month, we can ensure boaters are helping to protect New York's vulnerable shorelines," Governor Cuomo said. "As part of the state's ongoing response to coastal flooding in the region, this 5 mile per hour speed limit will help keep both communities and residents along the shoreline safe."
Reduced speeds are necessary to ensure safe boating, as many hidden hazards and debris have been covered by elevated water levels and can threaten boaters. By extending the speed limit for an additional month, boat wakes and wave action will remain low along the Lake Ontario and St Lawrence shores. Waves created by boat wakes can exacerbate shoreline erosion, further threatening residential and municipal infrastructure. Local municipalities may issue tickets carrying fines of up to $250 per infraction to recreational boaters violating the 5 mph speed limit within 600 feet of shore.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "We urge boaters heading to their favorite destinations on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to be good stewards of our state's coastal environment. By following the reduced speed limits, boaters are helping prevent more erosion along the coastline and ensure the safety of all boaters from any potential accidents."
Under normal conditions, boaters are required to obey the 5 mile per hour speed limit within 100 feet of the shore, dock, pier, raft, float, or anchored boat. When no speed limit is posted, vessels must always be operated in such a fashion so as not to endanger others. A vessel must be able to stop safely within the clear space ahead and a vessel operator is always responsible for any damage caused by the vessel's wake.