Weíre in a battle . . . and losing is not an option! Iíve written before about the looming debacle that will come for every boater this September if Congress does not exempt us from a required EPA discharge permit!I know Iíve previously urged you to write your Congressman and Senators to support S. 2067 or HR 2550, “The Recreational Boating Act of 2007.” If you have already done so, great. However, I must urge you to do it again, and now. Hereís why: There is now a new Senate Bill #2766 “The Clean Boating Act of 2008″.† It is more politically acceptable and greatly improves our chances of eliminating the permit requirement before it goes into effect.
Background: The new bill (S. 2766) is sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Bill Nelson (D-FL). For several months weíve been pushing S. 2067 and HR 2550 but these bills have not been moving. S. 2067 has 12 sponsors (11 Republicans and 1 Democrat) while HR 2550 has just 70 sponsors. At this time, then, S. 2766 has the best chance of gaining widespread political support from both Democrats and Republicans. The new S. 2766 includes all the language from the other bills and two additions: Charter boats are also exempted from the permit and there is a three year, three part framework to determine if any management practices should be required in the future.
Now is the time to e-mail or phone your two Senators. Although Congress is on recess this week, we need their staff to hear from us so that this bill can get some traction as soon as the Senators return to Washington. Please pick up the phone or email today and ask your Senators to sponsor and vote YES for S 2766.
Hereís an easy way to do it. Go to www.boatblue.org and click on Take Action. Youíll follow the instructions, the letter is already written for you, youíll hit send and youíll get a confirmation that itís gone to both your Senators. It couldnít be any easier and it will take less than 5 minutes!
One more thing: Since it takes less than 5 minutes, please ask all your employees to do it from the office, too. Moreover, although this issue has received substantial publicity within the industry, Iíll bet many of your customers donít know and would jump at the chance to join us in contacting their Senators. So, why not simply forward this Blog to your customer e-mail list today. After all, itís our customers that will get caught in the middle of this mess and itís a no-brainer that theyíll want to eliminate this threat as much as we do!