The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA) announced the recent formation of a Youth Boating Task Force. It is comprised of association members keenly aware of the aging population of the majority of boaters.
The focus of the task force is to create opportunities statewide for youth to access boating experiences. Not only do early boating experiences lay the groundwork for the boating lifestyle to be embraced for generations to come, they may also inspire careers in the recreational marine trades.
The MMTA Youth Boating Task Force is the brainchild of Association Director and Third Vice President Randall Lyons, business manager of Newburyport Marinas. Following his success at launching the Merrimack River Kids Boating Task Force among North Shore businesses, Lyons has since been a guest speaker before the Recreational Boating Leadership Council meeting in Washington, D.C. as well as becoming one of its newest member.
“We are excited to support the Massachusetts marine related businesses from within the association with the goal of getting more kids on the water. Our association seeks to encourage other trade groups around the country to follow suit as we all look to grow the boating industry for many generations to come," said Lyons.
MMTA's Board of Directors quickly embraced the idea of a Youth Boating Task Force when presented by Lyons. As business owners and operators working within a brief boating season, members value the connections they make with generations of boaters from the same families. Many members hail from small family owned and operated businesses handing down the rich maritime tradition of boating in Massachusetts. The MMTA Youth Boating Task Force will brainstorm ideas to build Massachusetts' youth boating programs and help increase boating access in general for kids.
Established in 1964, the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association is the non-profit, statewide, representative body for over 1,200 marine trades businesses in the Commonwealth including boat builders, marinas, boat dealers, retailers, repairers and marine industry professionals. The recreational marine trades industry contributes $2 billion annually to state coffers. MMTA seeks to further the interests of the marine trades and the boating public through the promotion of boating, participation in legislation and professional improvement programs. The association website, www.boatma.com, provides comprehensive boating information, including industry job listings, events, and is homeport to the Massachusetts tide charts.