Lake Powell Gets Cleaner Thanks to Jet Ski Restrictions

After getting a six-year reprieve from the National Park Service, jet ski riders at Lake Powell will have to make sure their personal watercraft meet 2006 emission standards established by the EPA back in 2006.

The Park Service delayed implementation of the regulation for ten years to minimize impacts to personal watercraft owners and provide time for people to plan for this new requirement.

“We are actively reaching out to the boating public about this change and will take the opportunity next summer to continue to educate park visitors on Lake Powell,” said Superintendent Todd Brindle.

In recognition of the need to protect park resources while supporting the recreational interests of visitors, the National Park Service signed a Record of Decision on June 27, 2003 allowing personal watercraft use to continue under a special regulation with additional management requirements.

One of the requirements states that, starting January 1, 2013, “no one may operate a PWC that does not meet the 2006 emission standards set by EPA for the manufacturing of two-stroke engines. A person operating a PWC that meets the EPA 2006 emission standards through the use of direct injection two-stroke or four-stroke engines, or the equivalent thereof, is not subject to this prohibition andwill be allowed to operate as described in this section.”

Park service regulations only allow personal watercraft use in national park areas where authorized by special regulation. Glen Canyon began a planning effort in 2002 to determine whether personal watercraft was an appropriate use.

The agency prepared a lengthy environmental study to evaluate whether to allow, restrict or discontinue PWC use. The study examined three management alternatives and included an analysis of how each alternative affected visitor safety,visitor experience, water quality, air quality, soundscapes, wildlife, park resources and park operations. Several opportunities for public involvement were provided during the planning process, with over 30,000 comments received.

Environmental coverage made possible in part by support from Patagonia. For information on Patagonia and its environmental efforts, visit In affiliation with Summit County Voice. Photo by Shutterstock

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