Boats Use Maynadier Ski Course Illegally

Residents Say Vessels Too Big And Too Fast

August 15, 1991|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff writer

Boaters violating a 6-mph speed limit have marred the debut of a slalom ski course on Maynadier Creek, a tributary to the Severn River.

Since the Severn and Magothy Rivers Ski Club installed the course July 22, the state Boating Administration has received complaints fromwaterfront residents about large speedboats using the course illegally.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which approved the course last month, allows only small, competition-style ski boats that pass a state inspection and limits the course's use to weekdays between noon and sunset.

But Robert Clark, a Bayberry Hills resident and opponent of the ski course, said, "There has been illegal skiing. That was our fear all along -- that there wouldn't be any enforcement."

Boats larger than those allowed by the Army and the Severn River Vessel Management Plan, adopted by the state last year, are using the course duringoff hours, Clark said.

Boating Administration spokeswoman Pat Shannahan said most complaints involve Friday evenings. She said NaturalResources Police have been alerted. Her office also is purchasing a sign buoy, explaining the rules, to anchor near a public boat ramp.

Ski club members said they are trying to make everyone aware of therules. But club president Roger Schaefer said that will take time.

"It's a situation where (the state Natural Resources Police) can't be everywhere at once," said Skip Fach, club secretary. "We know we have to help out as responsible skiers to enforce the law."

Clark said creek residents were disappointed by the Army's decision to issuethe permit. An environmental consultant hired by the community said last winter that even small ski boats would destroy aquatic grasses that provide wildlife habitats. He added that the marker buoys could obstruct residents from navigating their own boats, he said.

The Army, which regulates U.S. wetlands and waterways, banned skiing from March to June, the growing season for aquatic grasses. Otherwise, it said, it does not believe skiing will hurt the area.

The Army said it would rescind the permit if a University of Maryland study shows high-speed boats hurt Maynadier's ecology. The study, which will cost the Boating Administration $10,645, should be completed before the April 1992 boating season.

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