U.S. Senate passes Outdoor Recreation Act as industry highlights economic contributions

The outdoor recreation industry celebrates the physical, mental, and economic health contributions the $689 billion outdoor recreation industry has made over the course of the pandemic as the U.S. Senate marked up the first-ever recreation package, America’s Outdoor Recreation Act of 2022.

Spearheaded by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), of which the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is a founding member, outdoor recreation associations and ORR members shared an video highlighting myriad outdoor recreation activities, the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, and the over 4.3 million jobs it supports while urging Americans to get outside and recreate.

“I don’t think our nation has seen the positive impacts outdoor recreation has had on Americans’ physical, mental and economic health in such a tangible way as we have over the past several years,” said Jessica Turner, president of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “Now is the time to remind the nation and our elected officials how the outdoors and the recreation economy helped us get through the pandemic and how we can bring more to people, communities and economies with bills like the recreation package. We hope Americans continue to get outside to improve their lives and, like the video states, nowadays we could all use a little less zoom and a little more vroom!”

“More Americans than ever before are turning to the great outdoors and our nation’s waters to find reprieve from the stresses of everyday life – a fact that has not changed as the pandemic has progressed since 2020,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of NMMA and Chairman of ORR. “The recreational boating industry saw another record-setting year in 2021, with 420,000 first-time boat buyers entering the market. As families discover the joys and sense of freedom that come with time spent on the water, the marine industry is proud to be the top contributor to the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy across 39 states and D.C.”

America’s Outdoor Recreation Act of 2022, passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee today, includes the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act, the Outdoor Recreation Act, Recreation Not Red-Tape, among other bipartisan and pragmatic outdoor recreation legislation.

ORR sent a letter to the committee last year urging them to pass this much-needed legislation as soon as possible to “help manage already existing conserved lands and waters in order to support businesses recovering from COVID-19, and now impacted by wildfires and drought, ensure better access to the outdoors for all Americans, mitigate the impacts of climate change and ever-increasing visitation in some areas on the outdoor experience and create jobs by supporting rural economies and communities.”

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