On Monday, NMMA hosted the inaugural meeting of the Boating and Fishing Aquatic Invasive Species Coalition, which is comprised of stakeholder organizations from around the country. The coalition, spearheaded my NMMA, was formed to present a united front on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) policies at the federal level.
At the meeting, the coalition unanimously agreed to support the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Brandon Road Study, a report evaluating options to prevent the spread of AIS from the Mississippi River Basin into the Great Lakes Basin and steps to speed up USACE’s study timeline. The Great Lakes region is home to more than 3.1 million boaters and accounts for 26.8% of all registered boats in the U.S.
In addition to NMMA, the following organizations participated in the coalition meeting: American Sportfishing Association; Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Association of Marina Industries; B.A.S.S. LLC; BoatUS; Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Kentucky Department of Natural Resources; Marine Retailers Association of the Americas; Michigan Marine Trades Association; Lake Erie Marine Trades Association; and Trout Unlimited.
NMMA is committed to preventing the spread of AIS. To this end, NMMA recently released a position paper analyzing the impacts of AIS on communities, ecosystems, and the future of recreational boating. The paper also outlines steps to accomplish this goal, which includes changes in boat designs, boater education programs, and federal, state, and local decontamination and inspection programs.
In addition, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) released a similar AIS position paper earlier this year.