Historic Boating Access and Conservation Bill Approved by Congress

July 2020 News NMMA's Boating United

Yesterday, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act – legislation that will stimulate the recreational boating industry and create more safe and sustainable recreation access for all Americans. The bill – which is expected to be signed by President Trump in the coming days – follows years of advocacy by the outdoor recreation community, including NMMA and boating industry stakeholders.

The Great American Outdoors Act addresses two long-standing priorities of the outdoor recreation community. First, it fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund – a go-to program for conserving and maximizing outdoor recreation access. Second, the bill tackles the maintenance backlog on our public lands and waters by investing in boating infrastructure like docks, ramps and parking facilities.

“With more Americans flocking to boating in the era of social distancing, the Great American Outdoors Act is the shot in the arm we need to continue delivering the memorable experiences and significant economic impact our industry provides, including more than 35,000 businesses and 700,000 American jobs,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “We applaud Congress for coming together in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner on legislation that ensures both local economies and families can reap the benefits of outdoor recreation activities for generations to come.”

“From Boating United and social media, to coalition letters and virtual meetings with members of Congress, the recreational boating industry – in concert with our outdoor recreation community partners – showed exactly what can be accomplished when we all work together to advance a top advocacy priority,” said Nicole Vasilaros, NMMA senior vice president of government and legal affairs. “Thanks to the tireless work of countless NMMA members and boating industry stakeholders, the Great American Outdoors Act is the law of the land, which will allow more American to get out on the water today and beyond.”

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