Advocacy Alert – HB 1390

Dear Lake Friend,
Our advocacy efforts continue to produce lake-friendly results, and you have a critical opportunity to stand up for another lake-friendly bill!

On Wednesday, March 6, a bill that seeks to create lake-friendly wakesports zones on our lakes will be heard in the New Hampshire Legislature. Read on to see why we think you should support this bill and how to take action to help ensure its passage. And, find out where our other priority bills stand since I last reported to you–a lot has happened over the past two weeks. Thank you for continuing to stand up and give our lakes a voice in the legislature.

Working together to protect the lakes we all love,
Andrea LaMoreaux, President & Policy Advocate


HB 1390, relative to regulating wakeboating and wakesports 

Wakesports can be a fun way for individuals of all ages and families to enjoy New Hampshire’s lakes. And, when conducted far from shore and in deep water, wakesports can have minimal impacts on the health of our lakes. Unfortunately, the health of our lakes is degraded when wakesports are conducted in areas where the associated large and powerful wakes disturb the shoreline and lake bottom.

When engaged in wakesports, wake boats produce wakes that are significantly larger and more powerful than wakes produced by other powerboats engaged in recreational activity. When wakesurfing is conducted close to shore and in shallow water, the powerful wakes can accelerate shoreline erosion and stir up the lake bottom, decreasing water clarity and plant abundance and increasing phosphorus in the water. Increased phosphorus can contribute to cyanobacteria blooms, which are growing in frequency and severity in lakes throughout New Hampshire and can be toxic to humans and aquatic life.

These large and powerful wakes near the shoreline can also damage critical fish and loon habitats. And, they can damage shoreline structures and create safety issues for other lake users. HB 1390 establishes zones on our lakes where wakesports can be conducted to minimize negative impacts on the health of our lakes. The bill defines a wake sports zone as an area on a waterbody that has at least 50 contiguous acres of open water that are at least 500 feet from shore on all sides and is at least 20 feet deep. A 500-foot buffer from the shoreline and a 20-foot depth minimum for wakesports is supported by multiple studies. A recent review of the scientific literature on the impact of wake boat effects on aquatic habitat concluded that the large waves generated by wake boats take between 400 to 1,023 feet to dissipate to heights and wave energies observed 100 to 200 feet away from typical boats operating at cruising speeds.

NH LAKES and many local lake associations support this bill as it establishes lake-friendly zones for wakesports and will result in wakes that are much safer for our lakes.

HB 1390 Hearing Information:
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024Time: 1:00 p.m.
Committee: House Resources, Recreation and Development 
Location: NH State House, Representatives Hall, 107 N. Main Street, Concord, NH

To  learn more about wake surfing and its impacts on the lake environment, check out these resources:

Last Wilderness Alliance – Wake surfing introduction 
Last Wilderness Alliance – Wake surfing In-depth resources
Literature Review of Wake Boat Effects on Aquatic Habitat

Below are instructions on how you can support this bill. If you submit written comments and/or speak at the hearing, be sure to focus on protecting water quality, public safety, the shoreline, and shoreline property.

1. Register your support online. Our lakes need you and hundreds of others to show online support.
Go to the NH General Court Sign-in Form: 

Fill in your personal information.
Select the hearing date: March 6, 2024
Select the committee: House Resources, Recreation and Development 
Select the time of the hearing and the bill number: 1:00 p.m. HB 1390
Select: I am a member of the public
Select: I am representing myself
Indicate your position on the bill: I support this bill
You will have the option to upload a letter of support or paste in a statement of support. A few sentences about why you support the bill can make a big impact. 
Review and submit. 

 2. Attend the hearing (bring others, too!) and register your support. You don’t have to speak at the public hearing, but our lakes will need a couple hundred people standing up to support this bill. Bring a full car to Concord and ensure everyone signs the blue sign-up sheet in the hearing room to register their support. Plan to arrive by 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6. The State House is the building with the golden dome. 

3. Attend the hearing and share your personal story in support.
A two to three-minute personal story from you at the hearing can leave a lasting impression on committee members. Sign up on a pink card to speak when you get to the hearing. And be sure to bring 20 copies of your written testimony to share with the committee.
If you plan to testify at the hearing, please reach out to me ASAP so we can coordinate our talking points, and I will also provide you additional information. And be sure to focus your comments on protecting water quality, public safety, the shoreline, and shoreline property.

HB 1103, relative to revising the penalties of the shoreland protection act 
This bill makes it easier for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to enforce penalties for Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act violations. On February 8, this bill passed the full House of Representatives and will be heard by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 
HB 1143, including control of cyanobacteria blooms under the New Hampshire clean lakes program
This bill allows the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to monitor, manage, and reduce the risk of cyanobacteria blooms under the authority of the Clean Lakes Program. On February 22, this bill passed the full House of Representatives with a clarifying amendment, and it will now travel to the Senate.

NH LAKES 2024 Bill Tracking Sheet
Webinar Recording: Lakes & Legislation: 2024 Legislative Session Preview
Who’s My Legislator?

Meeting & Hearing Schedule:
NH House 
NH Senate
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