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Marine Board Swamps No Wake Zone

RI paddle

Despite Brooklyn neighborhood support, in a 3-2 decision the Oregon Marine Board on July 27th rejected a plea to have a short section of the Holgate Channel and the Ross Island Lagoon declared a No Wake Zone. Proponents, primarily paddlers of canoes, kayaks, Dragon boats and rowing shells, hoped to protect themselves and that fragile section of the larger Oaks Bottom Wildlife Preserve from loud high speed powerboats. The issue is especially important to Brooklyn and the City in view of the recent donation of Ross Island to the City by Ross Island Sand and Gravel. The City supported the No Wake proposal and the Marine Board’s own staff recommended passage of the resolution. Controversy arose after the vote when it was revealed by the Oregonian (oregonlive.com, July 30th) that one of the Marine Board members voting in opposition did not disclose she was the executive director of a lobbying group for the powerboat industry. An ethics investigation has been initiated by the state. Brooklyn’s small stretch of the Holgate Channel and the heavily used Springwater Trail may yet be granted the serenity it deserves.

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