ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In the wake of a recently released government report that finds the nations oceans and coasts in “serious trouble,” BoatU.S. issued a statement yesterday urging recreational boaters to “act now so boating’s ‘voice’ will be heard.”
Recreational boaters have an unprecedented opportunity to "speak up for boating," according to BoatU.S., after the presidential panel’s report recommended the country act now to “reverse distressing declines; seize exciting opportunities; and sustain the oceans, coasts and the valuable resources for the future generations."
BoatU.S. asks boaters to contact their governor’s by May 21 to let them know that recreational boating is an important lifestyle that must be taken into account, according to the release.
How much the 16-member U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy's decisions will specifically affect recreational boating remains unclear. The commission issued its preliminary report April 20, asking state governors to comment on the findings. The report called for a dozen broad federal government actions it labeled "critical," six of which would directly affect recreational boating, according to BoatU.S.
Panel proposals affecting boating and BoatU.S. reaction
"Whether these proposals are adopted or not depends on how well boaters and the state and local organizations that represent them take advantage of this opportunity to get involved," said Ryck Lydecker, BoatU.S. associate director of Federal Affairs.
"Many of the recommendations focus on 'living resources' meaning fish and other animals in ocean and coastal waters that are of concern to anglers. But everything from the management of inland waterways to international treaties is now going to be on the table."
Following a full analysis of the draft report, BoatU.S. said it will file comments on behalf of its 565,000 members. However, BoatU.S. encourages boaters in every state to review the commission's recommendations and provide comments to their respective governors before the May 21 deadline.
Boaters can go to the BoatU.S. Web site to view the report.
Send copies of your comments to: GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com.