ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Boat Owners Association of the United States is encouraging boaters and the marine industry to contact their members of congress and ask them to help sponsor the H.R. 3109 "Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act of 2011?, introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine.
The bill, presented to the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 5, would establish a Working Waterfront Grant Program. The grant program would provide funding for the preservation and expansion of coastal waters for persons and companies that engage in recreational and commercial fishing, boatbuilding, aquaculture or other coastal-dependent businesses like marinas and boat charters.
"Boaters rely on such small businesses to provide critical access to the water and essential services for their vessels and families," said Ryck Lydecker, Assistant VP of Government Affairs for BoatUS. "If Representative Pingree's bill passes, it would be an extremely positive step in preserving access, facilities and services for recreational boaters and anglers."
The bill would preserve the loss of coastal property at risk of being acquired and converted for use in non-water-dependent needs. Funding generated from the Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act of 2011 would provide funding for waterfront planning that would help stem the tide of conversion, BoatUS said in a release.
"The Waterfront is the only viable location for such businesses, and the continued access the provide to the recreational boaters along our coasts is vital to the future of boating," Lydecker added.
Currently the bill has 18 sponsors in Congress, but BoatUS is calling for boaters and fisherman, as well as marina owners and the marine industry, to contact their local members of Congress and ask them to help sponsor the bill. Visit the BoatUS Working Waterfronts page to read the bill as it was submitted and to e-mail your member of Congress.http://www.boatingindustry.com/news/2011/12/01/boatus-keep-our-waterfronts-working/