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MARICORP U.S. NEWS | BOATING ADVOCACY HELPS INDUSTRY

MARICORP U.S. NEWS | BOATING ADVOCACY HELPS INDUSTRY

  • Boating advocacy helps promote safety and industry regulation

    Millions of boaters across the United States can enjoy leisure and recreation time spent with their families on rivers, lakes, and shores with a general feeling of safety. Many of today’s laws and regulations didn’t exist 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. The driving impetus behind boating safety has come from boating advocacy groups.

    National Safe Boating Week Committee
    Among the first to appear on the national scene was the National Safe Boating Week Committee established in 1958 by President Eisenhower. This committee was formed to help educate boaters during National Safe Boating Week, first held by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in Amesburg, Massachusetts, in 1952. Today, this organization is known as the National Safe Boating Committee and supports over 300 local, state, and federal agencies to promote boat safety and education.

    BoatUS
    Another effective advocacy group is BoatUS founded in 1966 by Richard Schwartz. Driven by concerns that there were no regulations for the boat building industry, he started Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) with that purpose. BoatUS’s first victory came in 1971 when President Nixon signed the Federal Boat Safety Act into law, giving the Coast Guard the authority to regulate the industry.

    National Marine Manufacturers Association
    The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) takes a slightly different angle, representing recreational boaters by educating the government and members of Congress. Their combined efforts include BoatPAC, Boating United, the Congressional Boating Caucus, and the American Boating Congress. In 2016, the NMMA was instrumental in re-authorizing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), funding $12 billion in waterway infrastructure programs, such as widening waterways, dredging, and restoration.