Congress creates National Boating Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Congress has voted overwhelmingly to designate July 1 as National Boating Day in recognition and celebration of the important role recreational boating plays in the lives and health of the nation’s estimated 73 million boaters and the economy, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported in a statement this morning.

“Boating is not just a coastal pastime; it’s an American pastime,” said the resolution’s sponsor Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) in a June 25 speech to his colleagues on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. “Boating brings us closer to our natural treasures. I strongly believe that an appreciation for environmental stewardship comes about through interacting with nature.”

In their respective resolutions designating July 1 as National Boating Day, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate commended the recreational boating industry and community for their responsible stewardship of the environment and marine resources, according to NMMA.

“Boating gives us these cherished opportunities to commune with nature. It should be no surprise then that boaters can be impassioned stewards of the environment, teaching future generations of boaters to have a healthy respect and appreciation for our natural resources.” Klein said.

Congress also chose to highlight the strength of the recreational boating industry in the U.S. economy through a strong manufacturing base and growing services industry.

“The contributions of the recreational boating community go far beyond my home state,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-Fla.), who spoke on the floor of the House on June 25 in praise of recreational boating. “The boating population exceeds 73 million individuals utilizing and enjoying an estimated 18 million recreational watercraft.”

“In addition, the recreational boating industry provides more than $39 billion in sales and services to the U.S. economy and provides nearly 380,000 manufacturing jobs,” Wasserman Shultz said of the opportunities created by the recreational boating industry.

“Not only does recreational boating create real business opportunities and jobs, it’s a way for families and friends to connect and experience life on the water” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president.

“Boating produces a space for Americans to enjoy quality time together in a world of multi-tasking, time demands, and sedentary lifestyles. It passes on an important part of our national heritage to get outdoors and experience the natural beauty of our country, and to build memories that will last a lifetime, memories and experiences that can’t be gained by a weekend of video games or surfing the internet,” Dammrich said.

Congress approved the designation through two separate resolutions passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate, calling on the President to issue a national proclamation in observance of the day.

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