Last week our team was honored with a visit from U.S. Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt. Secretary Bernhardt, the 53rd Secretary of the Interior manages over 20% of the land in the United States, a huge responsibility, so we appreciated his visit.
I had met Secretary Bernhardt previously at a White House meeting, but this visit was the first time we were able to spend quality time together. During meetings with our team the Secretary was very engaged, and it was clear that he was concerned not only about protecting the land he oversees but also providing access to those who will use it responsibly.
As an avid boater who enjoys most weekends on the water with his family, Secretary Bernhardt fully understands how important it is for the boating industry to not only provide access, but also ensure the environment is clean so people want to participate in outdoor recreation.
While at our facility we were able to share information with the Secretary about the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry (2.2% of U.S. GDP and over five million jobs). We shared with the Secretary that the boating industry itself is a significant economic driver providing nearly 700,000 U.S. jobs.
The Secretary also listened carefully as we shared some of our federal priorities including passage of the Great American Outdoors Act and reauthorization of the Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.
Finally, as a boater, Secretary Bernhardt, enjoyed a tour of our Nautique boatbuilding factory and learned about our innovation initiatives. Our team was thrilled to show him the new GS22E electric boat being built by Ingenity, a subsidiary of our company.
Secretary Bernhardt seemed genuinely interested in learning more about our industry and the issues we face. We deeply appreciate his interest and willingness to visit us and learn about how we can work together to keep the economic engine of the boating industry strong and to protect the outdoors, so it is available for many generations to enjoy after us.
After his visit, the Secretary tweeted, “Thank you Correct Craft for sharing how the boating community is playing a crucial role in supporting local economies” and he “is committed to keeping our waterways safe, clean, and accessible for those who enjoy being out on the water!”
Thank you, Mr. Secretary.