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Working waterfronts bill introduced again

Preserving access to the water continues to be a priority for the boating industry, which makes the introduction of the “Keep America’s Waterfront Working Act” of interest. Marinas, boat yards and boat dealers supported a similar effort a couple of years ago, according to Marine Retailers Association of America’s Washington lobbyist Larry Innis, albeit attempts to get it through Congress failed.

Still, second-term Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, hasn’t been daunted by the fact that her bill went nowhere the first time around. This session, she has rounded up 17 of her colleagues in the House from around the nation to sign on as co-sponsors of H.R. 3109. (You can watch her speaking about the bill at: http://youtu.be/06llZkQULlk )

H.R. 3109 would create a federal grant program to acquire working piers and other points of waterfront access and provide funding for waterfront planning.  The proposal would allow states and local communities to support and protect places along the coast where commercial fishermen, boat builders, excursion/tour boat operators and other small businesses operate, including recreational boat yards and businesses.

Unrelated directly to H.R. 3109, but reflecting the same concerns, Pingree previously had announced the National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Council, which has several partners in Maine, would receive a $297,000 federal grant from the Economic Development Administration to help communities across the country protect their working waterfronts. The NWWWC is the result of Pingree’s call for groups to form a national coalition during a working waterfronts conference in Portland a year ago.

The NWWWC project will reach out to communities around the country to tell them the economic value of conserving working waterfronts. It will also create a toolkit of resources to help them do it. In essence, it will help those communities avoid wasting time, effort and funds “reinventing the wheel.” More specifically, the project’s work will include:

•   Developing the toolkit to conserve waterfronts, including case studies of successful efforts, sample ordinances, and funding options.
•   Reaching out to waterfront-dependent communities on the value of working waterfronts;
•   Gathering data on working waterfronts’ economic value; and
•   Studying best practices for outreach and education for communities.

Citing her state of Maine as an example, Pingree says: “Maine’s working waterfronts bring $800 million into our economy while supporting 30,000 jobs. They represent only 20 miles of our 3,300-mile coastline, meaning that a condo development here or a few summer houses there can swallow a huge portion of working land. It’s a growing threat around the country,” she adds. It spotlights the importance of the NWWWC project and the need to pass H.R. 3109.

FYI – Co-sponsors of H.R. 3109 include: Reps. Robert Andrews, D-N.J.; Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.; Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam; Lois Capps, D-Calif.; Donna M. Christensen, D-VI; Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va.; Sam Farr, D-Calif.; Bob Filner, D-Calif.; William R. Keating, D-Mass.; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.; James P. Moran, D-Va.; Michael Quigley, D-Ill.; Louise M. Slaughter, D-N.Y.; Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.; and Lynn C. Woolsey, D-Calif.

 

Comments

5 comments on “Working waterfronts bill introduced again

  1. Ed Wiser

    Notice that not a single republican has signed on. They are too busy trying to turn every bit of waterfront into condos or enclaves for the rich and politically connected.

  2. LARRY

    I DID NOTICE THE SPONSOR LIST OF OUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO BACK OUR INDUSTRY ARE PRIMARILY OR SHOULD SAY ALL DEMOCRATS ?????
    THE FLORIDA ISSUE IS SIMPLE, FLORIDIANS VOTED VERY FEW DEMOCRATS IN DURING LAST ELECTIONS, SIMPLY GETTING WHAT WE DESERVE, IS WHAT I SAY.
    I DIDN’T VOTE FOR SCOTT, DON’T BELIEVE HE IS A FRIEND OF THE BOATING INDUSTRY EITHER.
    I KEEP SCRATCHING MY HEAD AS TO WHY ARE PEOPLE LATELY VOTING AGAINST THEIR OWN INTEREST?
    IS IT A BIT OF BIGOTRY INVOLVED?
    THE REPUBLICANS SOUND CONVINCING WHEN THEY BLAME THE PRESIDENT, WHEN WE ALL KNOW WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING TODAY IS THE RESULT OF RAMPART THEFT BY THE PRIOR EIGHT YEARS OF REPUBLICAN CONTROL…….. POLITICS HAVE GOTTEN OUT OF HAND, THE LYING HAS TO STOP SOONER OR LATER, OR THE WHOLE COUNTRY IS GOING TO THE TOI8LET, ONCE FLUSHED, THERE’S NO EASY TURNING BACK……….HONESTLY I DON’T CARE FOR ANY POLITICIAN, DEMO OR REPUB, HOWEVER ANYONE IN THE BOATING INDUSTRY WHO EVEN THINKS OF VOTING REPUBLICAN , DESERVES CEREBRAL CASTRATION………..TOTALLY NUTS
    THOUGH TODAY’S PROBLEM ARE MANY, AND SOLUTIONS ARE FEW IT BEATS WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
    I STILL HAVE PERSPIRING NIGHTMARES ABOUT A PRESENT DAY WITH MCCAIN & PALIN AT THE HELM………….THANK GOD I WAKE UP

  3. C. Moore

    Ed please!!! Are you really saying only Republicans are involved with waterfont development, that is an absurd generalization as you must know.
    I guess you’re pointing out in your second post, that not a single Democratic rep in Alaska, Florida, Ohio, Michigan (a state surounded by water), and any of the states boardering the Mississippi River, Missouri river, most bordering the Ohio river, etc. etc. have not signed on either.
    With the state of the economy I doubt that there is really much development going on- water front or not. This is a non started bill, there are more important issues…

  4. Barbara Lippert

    Also note: there isn’t anyone from Washington State helping out either. Which is really amazing given WA ST has such a large ‘water-based’ marine business community. Perhaps a little ‘keel hauling’(the original water boarding) is in order to let the ‘water states’ politicians know water isn’t just a a splash for Scotch.

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