Personal Watercraft (PWC) Use at Gulf Islands National Seashore
MOST RECENT UPDATES: (click on "Document List" to the left to view the most recent documents)
20130205: Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS
Personal watercraft (PWC) were historically permitted in the units of the National Park Service (NPS) under the same regulations as other motorized watercraft. Due to the large increase in PWC use in the 1990s, the NPS published a proposed rule in 1998 which banned PWC use in all park units except for 21 units with a history of prior PWC use. These 21 excepted parks, including Gulf Islands, were given a two-year grace period to develop and implement park-specific PWC regulations in order to continue to allow PWC use. Gulf Islands prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the NEPA compliance for a regulation allowing continued PWC use. The NPS completed the final regulation for PWC use at Gulf Islands in 2006.
In 2008, a lawsuit was filed claiming that the EA was deficient and violated NEPA, the NPS Organic Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. On July 8, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling, finding that the impact analyses in the PWC EA were inadequate. The court did not vacate the PWC regulations, but remanded the case to the NPS "so that it may have an opportunity to provide adequate reasoning for its conclusions." Therefore, the special regulations remain in effect and PWC are currently still allowed to operate at Gulf Islands. The NPS intends to address the deficiencies identified by the court by preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for PWC use at Gulf Islands, which will include supplemental documentation, impact analyses not present in the earlier EA, and may include additional alternatives. Your input and engagement are important to this planning process.
To submit a comment on the project, please click the "Open for Comment" button on the left hand side of this page. Then select the document that you wish to review and then click "Comment on Document" to enter and submit your comments.
The NPS will hold public scoping meetings (and accept additional public comment) in late Summer or early Fall 2013 after we have developed preliminary alternatives for managing PWC use within Seashore boundaries. We will post details regarding the public meetings on the this website as soon as the information is available.
If you would like to be added to (or removed from) the electronic mailing list for this project, please email us at GUIS_PWC_Project@nps.gov, include your email address, and indicate if you want to be added to or removed from the distribution list. Public comments will not be accepted via email.
Thank you for your interest in Gulf Islands National Seashore!
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Attn: S&RM Division, PWC Project
3500 Park Road
Ocean Springs, MS 39564