Jet boat races returning to St. Maries next month


JET BOATS THAT TRAVEL UP TO 150 MILES PER HOUR WILL BE MAKING THEIR WAY UP AND DOWN NORTH IDAHO RIVERS NEXT MONTH… FOR THE 2016 USA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MARATHON JET BOAT RACE. TYPICALLY THE RACE TAKES PLACE ALONG THE ST. JOE’S RIVER, BUT THIS YEAR THE COURSE IS EXPANDING. TO INCLUDE THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER FROM HARRISON TO CATALDO. A BIG CAUSE FOR CONCERN FOR SOME ENVIORNMENTALISTS. KXLY 4’S CAITI CURREY IS WORKING FOR YOU WITH WHY THEY SAY THIS RACE IS DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD. INTRO MILLIONS OF DOLLARS HAS BEEN SPENT TO KEEP TOXIC METALS FROM THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER FROM SEEPING INTO THE LAKE AT A HIGH RATE. ENVIORNMENTALISTS BELIEVE THE JET BOATS COULD HAVE A REVERSE AFFECT ON THAT PROGRESS. AND DON’T BELIEVE THE ECONOMIC BEFEFITS OUTWEIGH THE ECOLOGICAL DISASTER. TO PUT IT SIMPLY, LAKE COEUR D’ALENE IS A MONEY MAKER. FROM RECREATION, TOURISM AND REALESTATE. IT BRINGS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE CITY’S ECONOMY YEAR AFTER YEAR. IF IT EVER BECAME UNUSABLE. IT WOULD BE DEVASTATING. NATS THAT’S WHY THE KOOTENAI ENVIORMENTAL ALLIANCE SAYS THEY’RE FIGHTING TO PREVENT ANY DISTURBANCE ALONG THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER. ADRIENNE CRONEBAUGH CRONE-EH-BAUGH KEA :08 THE BED OF THE COEUR D’ALENE RIVER CONTAINS OVER 2 MILLION METRIC TONS OF TOXIC HEAVY METALS AND EVEN MORE CONTAINTED IN THE SHORE LINES AND THE FLOOD PLANES. ADRIENNE CRONEBAUGH WITH THE ALLIANCE SAYS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS HAVE BEEN POURED INTO THE RIVER TO SLOW THE PROCESS OF THE TOXIC MATALS FROM LEAKING INTO THE LAKE. SHE ADDS JET BOAT RACING, WILL DISTURB THOSE TOXINS— RELEASING THEM INTO LAKE COEUR D’ALENE. . BUT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, LIKE THE EPA AND IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, SAY THERE ISN’T ANY DATA TO PROVE JUST HOW MUCH, AND HOW BAD OF AN IMPACT IT WILL HAVE. LT STU MILLER. :02 NONE OF THESE AGENCIES HAVE COME FORWARD, THEY HAVE SPOKE ABOUT IT AND SAID THERE IS A POTENTIAL, BUT THERE IS ALSO A POTENTIAL IT COULD NOT. WITHOUT THEIR OPPOSITION, THE KOOTENAI SHERIFF’S OFFICE HAS NO CHOICE, BUT TO APPROVE THE ST MARIES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PERMIT. SEEKING TO USE THE RIVER FOR JET BOAT RACES. WHILE THIS ONE BOAT RACE WON’T LIKELY CAUSE AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER… ENVIORNMENTALIST SAY THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND TAKING THE RISK. POINTING OUT, THE ECONOMIC IMPACT IS RELATIVELY LOW. STU MILLER :47 THE IMACT WE ARE GOING TO SEE IS PRETTY MINIMAL AS FAR AS ECONOMIC IMPACT. IF THEY HAVE UP TO 30 TEAMS RACING, YOU’LL SEE 30 TEAMS SPENDING THEIR MONEY AT RESTRAUNTS AND HOTEL, BUT WE;RE NOT GOING TO BE SEEING A LOT OF SPECTATORS TAG I SPOKE TO RACE ORGANIZERS OVER THE PHONE TODAY AND THEY COULDN’T GIVE ME A NUMBER AS TO HOW MUCH THE RACES BENEFIT THE ECONOMY. BUT ADD IT DOES HELP RURAL COMMUNITIES LIKE SAINT MARRIES. THEY ALSO SAY BECAUSE OF THE HIGH SPEEDS OF THE BOATS. THE CREATE VERY MINIMAL WAKES
THAT WOULD CAUSE A DISTURBANCE.

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