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Full court press for Recreational Boating Act

The clock is running down and itís time for a full court press! Weíre now under 9 months until every boater in America will be required to obtain a NPDES permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, only Congress, by passing legislation, can prevent this debacle.

Thatís why we need to applaud the letter delivered last week to the members of the Congressional Boating Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, urging each member to co-sponsor H.R. 2550. What made this particular letter important is that it was signed by 35 national and state organizations and agencies in boating and fishing.

H.R. 2550 was introduced last May by Congressman Gene Taylor and Congresswoman Candice Miller titled ďThe Recreational Boating Act of 2007.Ē The bill would exempt the nationís recreational boats from the requirement to obtain a NPDES permit for what are non-harmful, incidental discharges associated with the normal operation of pleasure boats. These discharges, for example, include deck runoff (from washing boats), engine cooling water, and uncontaminated bilge water. If Congress does not act, all boaters will have to apply for such permits beginning next Sept. 8.

Mathew Dunn, NMMAís Manager of Natural Resources & Economic Policy in Washington, DC, aggressively solicited participation from organizations and agencies that represent thousands of employees and businesses. Those who stepped up to be a signatory to the letter deserve to be named. They are: American Recreation Coalition; American Sportfishing Association; American Watercraft Association; Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Association of Marina Industries; Berkley Conservation Institute; Blue Ribbon Coalition; BoatUS; California Assn. of Harbor Masters & Port Captains; Chicago Yachting Assn.; Coastal Conservation Assn.; Congressional Sportsmenís Foundation; C-PORT; Federation of Fly Fishers; MRAA; NASBLA; National Boating Federation; NMMA;† PWIA; Pure Fishing; Recreational Boaters of California; USA Water Ski; and the Marine Trades Associations from Connecticut, Florida, Lake Erie, Maine, South Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Northwest, South Florida, Southern California, Southwest Florida.

Right now, there are 45 cosponsors of H.R. 2550. That means there are 390 other members of the House who arenít, yet. Odds are your Congressman is one of them. It also means your e-mail to he or she could bring them aboard.

So, come on. . . right now, while youíre online, go to, find your Congressmanís e-mail and send a simple message asking them to contact either Rep. Taylor or Miller and become a cosponsor of H.R. 2550. Please, get off the bench and get in the game before itís too late!


6 comments on “Full court press for Recreational Boating Act

  1. Van Snider

    Norm: Great article. Thanks for keeping this issue in front of marine businessmen and women and helping generate communications to our federal legislators that Congress needs to address this issue now.

  2. Marie Schock

    Please contact Rep. Taylor or Miller and become a cosponsor of H.R.2550. It’s vital to the recreation boating industry that we are able to offer family fun time without additional government permits. Thank you…Marie Schock

  3. Mathew Dunn

    Norm, thanks for this great post. Increasing support and passing H.R. 2550 is essential to preventing the national permitting of every recreational boat.

    Readers might be interested in a website specially created on this issue, where they can easily write their federal elected officials and keep up-to-date on this issue: At, you simply type in your zip code and click the link to send a letter to your Members of Congress. You can edit the letters currently available on the site or write your own.

  4. Duncan Neasham

    Norm is right–the clock is ticking down and we need to continue the pressure on our elected officials in Congress to act quickly by sponsoring and supporting the Recreational Boating Act of 2007 (HR 2550 and S 2067).

    NMMA has created a grassroots website,, where you can make a difference for our industry with one click of your mouse. At the website you can directly contact you Senators and Congressman under the “take action” tab. Please visit the website today and let your voice be heard on this important issue.

  5. John Wisse

    Thanks for calling attention to one of the most controversial issues facing boating today. It is, however, most unfortunate that the vast majority of Ohio boaters are not aware of the issue or importance of making their opinions known. And, it seems curious that nothing has been heard publicly from Ohio’s marine trade groups, dealer associations and boating clubs. In Ohio’s media industry, we’ve seen virtually no coverage of this issue from outdoor writers or other reporters. Seems to me that the boating industry at the grassroots and statewide level needs to visibly set a psoitive example through effective leadership. I’m certain Ohio boaters will be looking for this “effective leadership” on this very issue when boat show season begins in early January.

  6. Ken Cirillo

    Is there an update to this pending legislation?

    Have you contacted the NMEA to have this trade group work in conjunction with it’s membership as well as to their customers (the boaters)? Let me know if you need any help in establishing a contact with the NMEA on this important issue.

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