Personal Watercraft

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The use of personal watercraft or PWC (Jet Skis, WaveRunners, Sea-Doos) is of concern to Surfrider Foundation members and other environmentalists due to the pollution, noise, and potential harm to people and wildlife that PWC can cause. Two articles detailing the problems caused by PWC and steps that can be taken to minimize their impact on the environment have appeared in Making Waves: Jetski Article #1 Jetski Article #2


In addition, Surfrider Foundation's Board of Directors has established a policy on PWC that would require the use of 4-stroke engines, restrict the use of PWC in sensitive ecological areas, support public education programs, and require licensing programs for PWC use.

Recommended actions for those concerned about the environmental effects of PWC include:

  • Share information about the polluting nature of PWC with your friends.
  • Support regulations that will force the PWC industry to produce clean engines.
  • Become active in your community to reduce PWC impacts.
  • Contact Bluewater Network (now part of Friends of the Earth) for additional information on PWC impacts and regulations.
  • Become an advocate of responsible PWC use.


This article is part of a series on Beach Access looking at policies, laws, regulations and conditions which can affect the public's ability to access the coast.

For information about laws, policies and conditions impacting beach access in a specific state, please visit Surfrider's State of the Beach report to find the State Report for that state, and click on the "Beach Access" indicator link.


This article is part of a series on Clean Water which looks at various threats to the water quality of our oceans, and the negative impacts polluted waters can have on the environment and human health.

For information about laws, policies, programs and conditions impacting water quality in a specific state, please visit Surfrider's State of the Beach report to find the State Report for that state, and click on the "Water Quality" indicator link.