Task force to make final report on no-wake zones

Published 11:27 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

Representatives of the Southampton County Board of Supervisors’ No-Wake Zone Task Force should be presenting their final recommendations on whether to expand or remove no-wake zones on the Nottoway and Blackwater rivers to the board during the board’s Jan. 23, 2017, meeting, according to the board’s vice chairman, Ronnie West.

The current and proposed no-wake zones require motorboat operators to power down their engines when passing through the zone so that it does not create a trail of turbulent water.

According to West, the task force is comprised of six Southampton County residents — some of whom are boat owners or own waterfront property in the county — who have been meeting regularly to discuss the effectiveness of no-wake zones on the two rivers.

The board will make its final decision after reviewing the task force’s final report, and may also decide to hold a public hearing on the matter before deciding.

According to West, two concerns the task force is investigating based on residents’ urging are the issue of safety at boat landings and erosion on river banks.

“Wake can throw your boat around when loading and unloading,” West said. “And we have a lot of people who own property on the river, [where] the river has eroded their property.”

The next meeting of the task force will be on Monday, Dec. 19.