NMMA welcomed Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Representative Lois Frankel (D-FL-21), and Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2) as the Congressional Boating Caucus co-chairs in the 116th Congress. Celebrating its 30-year anniversary, the caucus is a bipartisan group of more than 100 U.S. Senators and Representatives formed in 1989 to advocate for the interests of the recreational boating industry.
"As an industry that now contributes an estimated $170.3 billion in economic activity to the U.S. economy each year – supporting more than 35,000 businesses and 691,000 jobs – the Congressional Boating Caucus has long played an integral role in allowing marine manufacturing to remain a positive force in communities across the country," said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “On behalf of the recreational boating industry, I would like to thank the co-chairs for serving in this capacity and their commitment to advancing the caucus’s mission. NMMA and our partner organizations are eager to work alongside these leaders as we look to navigate a new political environment, propose commonsense policies, and ensure the more than 141 million boaters who take to our nation’s waterways annually are able to enjoy the benefits of a day on the water."
NMMA senior vice president of government relations and legal affairs, Nicole Vasilaros added, "We are encouraged by the widespread support for the recreational boating industry that has grown on both sides of the aisle over the years, largely driven by efforts of the Congressional Boating Caucus. As we look to build on recent legislative successes – including passage of the Modern Fish Act and inclusion of key industry priorities in bills like the U.S. Coast Guard reauthorization and America’s Water Infrastructure Act – we are fortunate to have dedicated, hardworking co-chairs who will help us achieve these objectives."
The Congressional Boating Caucus has provided leadership on priority issues for the marine industry, such as restoration of the Everglades, fisheries management reform, protecting consumers from misfuelling with E15, fair and free trade, and support for waterway access. The co-chairs look forward to championing issues of importance to the boating industry.
“Michigan is home to vibrant boating and fishing industries that support small businesses, boost tourism and are key engines of economic growth for communities across the state,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. “I look forward to joining my colleagues on the Congressional Boating Caucus to highlight the critical roles boating and fishing play on Michigan waterways and assess ways to support millions of American boaters.”
Senator Wicker added, “Recreational boaters boost our economy, employ thousands of Americans, and contribute directly to the conservation of our natural resources. As a co-chair of the Congressional Boating Caucus, I hope to bring heightened attention to the challenges facing the thousands of Mississippians and millions of Americans who depend on the success of this industry.”
“In my home state of Florida, recreational boating isn’t just a way of life – it’s an $23 billion industry supporting more than 92,000 jobs,” said Representative Frankel.
Representative Walorski added, “Northern Indiana is home to boat manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of all sizes, and these businesses play a key role in growing our local economy and creating good jobs. Hoosiers not only understand how vital the outdoor recreation industry is to our nation’s economy – we also know boating is a beloved pastime for generations of Americans. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Congressional Boating Caucus to expand opportunity, boost investment in our communities, and ensure local businesses can continue building American-made boats.”
“Boaters are deeply appreciative of the leadership of the Boating Caucus and the support they provide to the full range of boating activities. It’s hard to overstate the value of these unique relationships to BoatU.S. members and the millions of Americans who love spending time on the water” noted David Kennedy, Government Affairs Manager for the Boat Owners Association of The United States, BoatU.S.