President Trump and congressional Democrats met at the White House to begin discussions on passing and signing a robust infrastructure package into law. NMMA welcomed the summit and urged leaders to modernize blue-green infrastructure as part of any comprehensive proposal.
"We applaud the continued dialogue between policymakers on repairing our nation's crumbling infrastructure, said Nicole Vasilaros, NMMA senior vice president of government and legal affairs. “With a D+ rating from America's top engineers, the deterioration of our infrastructure is jeopardizing the economic contribution of industries that rely on access to roads, bridges, and waterways. As discussions on this critical issue continue, we urge lawmakers to address the needs of blue-green infrastructure – specifically, our nation’s public lands and waters, which are so critical to the recreational boating industry – by incorporating a ‘Recreation Title’ in any broader legislative proposal.
"The recreational boating industry supports 35,000 businesses and 691,000 jobs, and more broadly, the outdoor recreation economy contributes $734 billion to the gross economic output. Without structurally sound recreation infrastructure – including adequate boat ramps, dredging projects, and broadband access in federally managed lands and waters – these economic contributions are at risk.
"This conversation is the first step of a broader infrastructure debate that will hopefully be inclusive of not only roads, bridges, and buildings but rehabilitation of our blue-green infrastructure. Fixing our nation's infrastructure is not only a priority for recreational boaters, but for the broader economy as well."
NMMA will continue to monitor the discussions and work to secure inclusion of recreational infrastructure priorities in any comprehensive package