Governor Cuomo Extends Executive Order to Limit Speed Along Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Shorelines Through October 2
Expanded No-Wake Zone is Essential in Flood-Impacted Regions and for Safety of Boaters
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that he has authorized the Commissioner of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to once again extend the 5 mile per hour boating speed limit on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River through Monday, October 2. All Vessels operating within 600 feet of shore must observe the 5 mile per hour speed limit to reduce impacts to shoreline residences and infrastructure caused by wave action and to promote safe boating.
"Those living and working along the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence shorelines are still susceptible to coastal flooding which is why it is critical that we continue to limit speed limits within 600 feet of the shore," Governor Cuomo said. "Through our ongoing emergency response in the affected regions, this extension will reduce any potential impacts and increase safety for shoreline communities."
By extending the speed limit for an additional month, boat wakes and wave action will remain low along the Lake Ontario and St Lawrence shores. Waves created by boat wakes can exacerbate shoreline erosion, further threatening residential and municipal infrastructure.
Local municipalities may issue tickets carrying fines of up to $250 per infraction to recreational boaters violating the 5 mph speed limit within 600 feet of shore.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "Boating in the late summer and early fall is extremely popular along Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River and it is so very important to stay mindful of the shoreline impacts. These reduced speeds are also necessary to ensure safe boating, as many hidden hazards and debris have been covered by elevated water levels and can threaten boaters."
Under normal conditions, boaters are required to obey the 5 mile per hour speed limit within 100 feet of the shore, dock, pier, raft, float, or anchored boat. When no speed limit is posted, vessels must always be operated in such a fashion so as not to endanger others. A vessel must be able to stop safely within the clear space ahead and a vessel operator is always responsible for any damage caused by the vessel's wake.
On May 29 the Governor directed the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to implement a five mile per hour speed limit to control wakes within 600 feet of the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River shoreline to reduce impacts to residences and infrastructure caused by wave action and to promote safe boating. In August, Governor Cuomo extended the 5 mile per hour speed limit along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River shorelines through September 2.