Christy Grecsek: Observe Connecticut River speed limit

Monday, August 28, 2017
Observe Connecticut River speed limit

I love that our community gets to live and play on the beautiful Connecticut River.

Lately, however, I’ve noticed that a number of motor boat operators seem to be unaware of the state regulation regarding the special speed limit for the area defined as the “Connecticut River Reach.” The rule states that “no motorized vessel shall be operated at a speed greater than 15 mph … starting from a point at the Turner’s Falls Dam … for approximately 13 miles … and terminating at the public access boat ramp in the town of Hatfield.”

This summer, especially, many boats are exceeding the speed limit. This is especially important considering that much, if not all, of this stretch is part of the Connecticut River Greenway State Park and is habitat for wildlife, including nesting sites for bald eagles.

I’m hoping that this letter will bring the existence of this speed limit to the attention of a wider audience. In addition, if the speed restriction is not already posted at the various boat launch areas in our region, perhaps putting up some prominent signage would help boaters keep this in mind.

For those wanting the read the entire text, the document is online at http://www.mass.gov/eea/grants-and-tech-assistance/enforcement/environmental-police/boat-and-recreation-vehicle-safety-bureau/323cmr20.pdf.

Christy Grecsek