American Boating Congress speakers revealed

WASHINGTON – Recreational boating leaders, government officials and marine manufacturing executives participating in the 2007 American Boating Congress will listen to a diverse and dynamic series of congressional and administration speakers, producer the National Marine Manufacturers Association said in a press release Tuesday.

The three-day conference begins with a welcome reception on Sunday and is followed by two-days of intensive policy discussions with a focus on manufacturing, trade, tax, environmental and energy issues affecting marine manufacturers and the boating community at large.

“Regulatory policy will directly shape many of our members’ decisions over the coming year – from engine emissions standards to fuel supplies, and a new potential boat permitting scheme mandated by September 2008,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA vice president and senior counsel of government relations. “That’s why we are fortunate, and felt it was important, to have Stephen Johnson, the head of the [Environmental Protection Agency], address our industry leaders.”

Johnson, the 11th EPA administrator, oversees the agency, which implements and enforces the nation’s federal environmental laws and regulations. Following Johnson, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) will address the assembly as the first of five scheduled congressional speakers during the conference.

“Senator Whitehouse is a renowned conservationist who has made a positive mark protecting public lands and wetlands from development,” Fontaine said. “Hailing from a state steeped in nautical heritage, I believe his message will resonate to our boating community.”

After Whitehouse’s speech, participants will engage in three panel discussions on energy, economic, and environmental policies. Following the panels, Sen. Robert Corker (R-Tenn.) will address attendees at the Business of Boating Luncheon.

The first full-day of the conference concludes with a gala dinner and awards reception, where the Congressional Boating Caucus co-chairs, Reps. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Candice Miller (R-Mich.), will be honored with the Admiral’s Circle Award, the industry’s highest Congressional honor.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is scheduled to address the Tuesday luncheon. Following Vitter’s speech, American Boating Congress participants will begin an afternoon of visits to Capitol Hill for face-to-face meetings with elected leaders and policymakers on issues of concern and importance to the industry and member businesses.

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