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Wetlands vs. boats

UAF Public Account public at darkhorse.acf-lab.alaska.edu
Mon Feb 15 00:24:09 EST 1993

In article <930209053749_71552.541_DHG43-2 at CompuServe.COM>  
71552.541 at CompuServe.COM (Newman/Rabson) writes:
> Ladies and Gentlemen:
> I am a CompuServe subscriber, hoping to correspond with Internet
> users via email. I am trying to locate individuals or interest
> groups concerned with wetlands; a fellow CompuServer "cruised" the
> Internet for me and suggested that I contact you.
> I serve on the Wetlands Board of Stafford County, VA. Our Board is
> the local permitting authority for activities in the county's tidal
> wetlands; we are concerned mostly with mixed-vegetation fringe
> marshes on relatively small freshwater tidal creeks.
> The Board is often presented with applications for activities
> (marinas, launching ramps) that we can expect to increase boat
> traffic in a given area. We are searching for information that
> might help us to answer the following question:
> How can one determine, even approximately, the carrying capacity
> (in recreational boats) of a given body of water? To put it another
> way, How much boat traffic can a given body of water support before
> it begins to suffer damage to wetlands and marine systems?
> We know in a general way what consequences to expect. I don't mean
> catastrophic events like fuel or sewage spills, although they are
> certainly a concern. I mean more insidious, chronic effects like
> increased wake battering of shorelines and vegetation, or the
> effects of sediment resuspension on the marine environment.
> We know that beyond a certain point we will start to get damage,
> but we have little idea of how close to that point we are. We have
> found very few studies that even attempt to deal with the question
> - no wonder, really, since there is an immense number of variables:
> stream width, bank geometry, soil and sediment types, vegetation
> types, natural turbidity, spawning seasons, boating habits, hull
> shapes, etc., etc.
> Even with the few studies we have found that do relate to areas
> similar to ours, it is hard to extrapolate because fine points of
> the local situation can make huge differences. And we have found
> no discussion at all of some very basic questions - specific plant
> communities' susceptibility to damage from increased wakes, for
> instance.
> So it may be a foolish question, or perhaps I should say a futile
> one. Nevertheless, if you have any suggestion about how I might
> find more information on any aspect of it, I will be very grateful.
> George L. Newman
> P.O. Box 167
> Hartwood, VA 22471
> Voice/FAX:     703-752-5135
> Email:         71552.541 at compuserve.com
There SHOULD BE modelling studies done under Coastal Management Plan funds
and Coastal Energy Impact Program (CEIP) funds from NOAA, Dept. of  
Commerce, Corps of Engineers (related 404 dredge & fill permitting),
University of Delaware Environmnetal Engineering Dept. on Chesapeake Bay,
and other state universities along the Eastern Seaboard for the Inland  

If not there may be some from San Francsisco Bay Conservation &  
Development Commission in SF, and the State Water Resource Council, and 
US Bureau of Reclamation or Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. Reference
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta boat traffic impacts from boom in activity.

Failing that, a librarian or consulting firm could do research for you.
New electronic library searches via File Transfer Protocol, or even  
easier: The NAtional Archives' Electronic Document Office, and the 
U.S. Gov't Printing Office mega-BBSs.

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