SOBA and RBFF to track boating access

WARREN, R.I. — The States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging the two organizations will work cooperatively to significantly increase the national database of boating access sites, SOBA reported in a statement today.

SOBA President Larry Killien, Harbors Program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Trails & Waterways, and RBFF President Bruce Matthews signed the MOU on Sept. 16 during the SOBA 18th Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 18-22 in Kalispell, Mont.

“This agreement brings together two groups with a mutual interest in quality recreational boating experiences and the facilities from which they depart,” said Killien. “To further assist America’s boating public in achieving a higher level of boating and angling satisfaction, we intend to develop and maintain an updated database of boating access sites for all boaters and anglers to use.”

“Access is one of the primary constraints to recreational fishing and boating participation,” said Matthews. “We look forward to working with SOBA and its members to compile a comprehensive national database of boat ramps and to increase awareness of these access opportunities by providing that information to the public in a consistent manner.”

The sharing of common goals

Both SOBA and RBFF share common goals of reducing barriers to boating access and increasing awareness of access opportunities in order to grow participation in recreational boating and fishing. The signed MOU identifies the strengths and needs of each organization. The MOU also establishes a framework for cooperation between the two to minimize overlapping efforts and to assure maximum efficiency and effectiveness in reaching common goals, SOBA reported.

In the MOU the organizations agree to:

  • Cooperate in the development, maintenance and improvement of a national database of boating access sites for public use.
  • Collect, maintain and offer information regarding the database on their respective Web sites.
  • Cooperate to develop and distribute a template to states’ boating access officials who currently do not maintain an inventory of access points to assist them with developing that inventory.
  • SOBA agreed to provide open and free access to its membership to allow information collection necessary to populate the boating access sites database. The group also pledged to encourage its members with existing inventories of access sites to provide their information to the database. In addition, SOBA agreed to encourage states that do not have an inventory of access sites to use the RBFF-SOBA Web solution to gain an online presence for their boat ramp listings and provide customized state information.

    RBFF agreed to continue to build, host and maintain a Web site that will host the access database, currently located on The recreational boating and fishing group also pledged to continue to market the access database for public use through

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