ALEXANDRIA, Va. – To spotlight the problem of declining water access and to recognize those who are helping turn the tide, BoatU.S. has launched a national Recreational Boating Access Award, it reported in a recent statement.
“Marinas, service yards, and launch ramps are how recreational boats get to the water,” said BoatU.S. Chairman Richard Schwartz. “Many waterfront communities in the country are facing the choice of keeping waterway access available for all boaters, not just the few who can afford waterfront property.”
Additional contributors to the loss of boating access are hefty tax hikes for marinas and boat clubs that are accessed at “highest and best use” rates more suitable for high-density housing, bureaucratic red tape that hinders growth of marinas, and poor civic planning, according to the association.
The BoatU.S. Recreational Boating Access Award will honor an individual, group, government body, business or non-profit organization that has succeeded in preserving or improving public waterway access. Judges will look at four criteria: 1.) the challenges faced in retaining or increasing access in an area; 2.) the direct impact or measurable results of the solution; 3.) the level of success in increasing awareness of the issue in a community; 4.) and “repeatability,” the ability to take the successful approach and adopt it in other areas.
Examples of solutions could include creative public/private partnerships, changes in land use planning or permitting processes, tax incentives, legislation or public ballots, publicity or public education. Eligible activities include those undertaken in the last three years.
The deadline to enter is February 1, 2007 and winners will be announced at the Working Waterways and Waterfronts – A National Symposium on Water Access to be held in Norfolk, VA May 9-11, 2007. Those interested in more information can visit http://www.BoatUS.com/gov/AccessAward.
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