How exciting! Formula 2 powerboat racing coming to the Bradenton/Palmetto riverfront, Jan. 30-31, 2015.
On Feb. 24, Bay News 9 had a discussion with Bradenton Herald business reporter Charles Schelle about the planned racing event in our area.
Mr. Schelle told us of F2 boats turning speeds of 120-125 mph and making on the dime turns at 4Gs. He also mentioned an expected crowd turnout of 75,000 people.
We have a very pretty pristine Manatee River. I have concerns about the various impacts an event of this magnitude will generate.
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Pollution impact on our river: Will all the beverage cups, water bottles and food containers actually make it to our already burdened recycling and landfill? How much plastic and trash will end up in the water?
What about the sanitation issues? Having enough Porta Potties will not reduce the water/sewage treatment load.
We are already overburdened with winter traffic; what about parking, traffic and crowd control?
Now about the F2 boats: We all love speed and exciting competition; however, this also creates accidents and more pollution (broken fiberglass, fuel, oil, possible injuries, and don't forget the noise).
We have two bridges here with no-wake zones on each side. Are these regulations going to be enforced? They should be enforced at all times for all mariners.
What about the impact on all our wonderful wildlife and ecosystem? There will be fall-out.
I am a sailor and our boat moves at about six knots; will I be able to be on the water at the same time the race is being held? Or will we just get run over?
The revenue from this event will be fantastic, but money will not buy what we already have. We should all protect and respect our river.
John Seager, USCG Licensed Captain