I'd like to join the good folks who have taken the time to express their legitimate concerns about the powerboat races being considered for the Manatee River this coming January.
Approximately 10 years ago, the powerboat races were invited to Lake Winnipsaukee in New Hampshire. This is unquestionably the largest lake in New Hampshire, spanning approximately 33 square miles of spring-fed, pristine fresh water.
The races were exciting, very loud, and brought additional money in to the Gilford, Laconia "lakes region" area as expected.
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However, the unintended consequence of this race event was this: the fresh water salmon and trout fishing that our lake is known for around the country became almost nonexistent for two years!
The fish literally disappeared for a long period of time.
Our endangered loons got so frightened by the loud noise from the boats that they went elsewhere to nest, and our loon association trackers have been distraught about our loon numbers for almost a decade!
Needless to say, there are no more high-powered speed boat races on the lake for the obvious reasons.
I would like to agree with my fellow citizens in their concern for our precious wildlife here on the Manatee River.
Although it would appear to generate dollars to our economy, we have far more to lose than money. These boat races belong in the open ocean, not in our river.
My voice joins with others speaking for and standing up for the helpless manatee, dolphin, fish and birds that depend on our wise stewardship. Let's not let money cloud our long term reasoning!