THE PROBLEM: A proposed bill (SB 1590) will gut Oregon’s watersports statutes, effectively rolling back the safety, water quality, fisheries, and environmental protection benefits they provide.
How You Can Help:
SUBMIT THE LETTER BELOW TO LAWMAKERS
WANT TO MAKE MORE OF A SPLASH? HELP NFS AND OUR PARTNERS BY TESTIFYING AT THE UPCOMING HEARING FOR SB 1509
A hearing on the bill will be held at 8 am on Tuesday, February 13th, at the Oregon Capital
Testify in person or online - Registration Required (Click on 'Register to Testify' beside SB 1590 Public Hearing)
Testimony will be limited to 1-2 minutes; keep it short and sweet!
State your strong opposition to SB 1590
Encourage the committee to stand strong in maintaining our existing watersport statutes to ensure that we keep our river ecosystems healthy and functional, especially for wild native fish
BACKGROUND: The state’s existing “towed watersports program” statutes place reasonable education, registration, and boat size limits on certain recreational boating activities (e.g., allowing all recreational boats under a certain size to tow water skiers and tubers in heavily used waterways). They also fund enforcement to help ensure that the rules of the road are being followed, especially in waterways that see a high number and diversity of recreators.
THE THREAT & IMPACT: This bill will repeal the environmental and safety protections that Native Fish Society and our conservation partners have obtained over multiple legislative sessions.
SB 1590 will throw out the “rules of the road” for boaters and allow an anything-goes free-for-all for large, wake-producing boats despite the safety risk to other water users and the damage to the river ecosystem. In particular, this will:
Increase turbidity and sedimentation, which harms important nearshore habitats that are vital for healthy river ecology;
Undermine silty banks causing increased erosion, bank instability, and landslides; and
Harm juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead (listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act) that are present during the boating season.
TAKE ACTION: Your voice matters! Take action now to safeguard Oregon's waterways! By submitting the action alert and joining us at the SB 1509 hearing, you're sending a powerful message to lawmakers: Oregon's waters must be protected for generations to come. Together, let's ensure that SB 1590 does not jeopardize the safety, quality, and biodiversity of the homewaters we all love. Take a stand today and make a difference for Oregon's waterways!