SOBA's 2018 Annual Boating Access Conference
Access is the Bridge to Superior Water
Recreation Experiences

September 24 – 27, 2018

The Holiday Inn & Suites Duluth
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)
Duluth, Minnesota
SOBA’s 2018 Annual Conference will be held at the DECC in Duluth, Minnesota.

Registration is now open! Please click here to register today.

The latest draft agenda can be found here.

This year’s theme is “Access is the Bridge to Superior Water Recreation Experiences.” This theme was chosen to reflect how important access is to people’s enjoyment of water.  Lake Superior, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes and the greatest of the great lakes will provide a stunning backdrop to the conference. We will highlight challenges in developing and maintaining boating access and will provide the opportunity to showcase products, services, and solutions designed to meet those challenges.

A room block has been reserved at the Holiday Inn & Suite in Duluth from September 23rd through September 27th. If you have any issues using the link below, please contact the hotel at 218-722-1202. Follow this link to input your dates for SOBA’s Group Code:  The Holiday Inn & Suites Duluth

The Boating Access Site Visit this year will be a tour of five boating access sites on Thursday, September 27th. For a complete list and full information regarding these stops, please see the Boating Access Handout. This will be provided to you in your conference packet.

Registration Pricing:

July 31st

Registration After
August 1st
  Member $395 $495
  Non-Member $495 $595
  Alumni $195 $195
  Professional Credit $25 $25
  Daily Registration $195 $225
  Contributor (Non-exhibiting consultant) $500 $500

For exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, please contact Libby Yranski, or 202-737-9766.

Please check back soon for more updates and a draft agenda!

SOBA reminds conference attendees that certain costs are eligible under USFWS grants (Boating Access, CVA), in particular, memberships and certain conference costs. See excerpt below from the applicable OMB Circular.
2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and
Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

Subpart E - Cost Principles
§200.432   Conferences.

A conference is defined as a meeting, retreat, seminar, symposium, workshop or event whose primary purpose is the dissemination of technical information beyond the non-Federal entity and is necessary and reasonable for successful performance under the Federal award. Allowable conference costs paid by the non-Federal entity as a sponsor or host of the conference may include rental of facilities, speakers' fees, costs of meals and refreshments, local transportation, and other items incidental to such conferences unless further restricted by the terms and conditions of the Federal award. As needed, the costs of identifying, but not providing, locally available dependent-care resources are allowable. Conference hosts/sponsors must exercise discretion and judgment in ensuring that conference costs are appropriate, necessary and managed in a manner that minimizes costs to the Federal award. The Federal awarding agency may authorize exceptions where appropriate for programs including Indian tribes, children, and the elderly. See also §§200.438 Entertainment costs, 200.456 Participant support costs, 200.474 Travel costs, and 200.475 Trustees.

§200.454   Memberships, subscriptions, and professional activity costs.
(a) Costs of the non-Federal entity's membership in business, technical, and professional organizations are allowable.
(b) Costs of the non-Federal entity's subscriptions to business, professional, and technical periodicals are allowable.
(c) Costs of membership in any civic or community organization are allowable with prior approval by the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity.
(d) Costs of membership in any country club or social or dining club or organization are unallowable.
(e) Costs of membership in organizations whose primary purpose is lobbying are unallowable. See also §200.450 Lobbying.
§200.474   Travel costs.

(a) General. Travel costs are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by employees who are in travel status on official business of the non-Federal entity. Such costs may be charged on an actual cost basis, on a per diem or mileage basis in lieu of actual costs incurred, or on a combination of the two, provided the method used is applied to an entire trip and not to selected days of the trip, and results in charges consistent with those normally allowed in like circumstances in the non-Federal entity's non-federally-funded activities and in accordance with non-Federal entity's written travel reimbursement policies. Notwithstanding the provisions of §200.444 General costs of government, travel costs of officials covered by that section are allowable with the prior written approval of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity when they are specifically related to the Federal award. 
The Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Education Fund provides a resource to members who have a desire to further their knowledge and expertise in boating access and related issues through continuing education, who are in good standing, and who have made contributions to SOBA in some way.   The Education Fund can only be used to defray costs specifically affiliated with attending the annual SOBA conference, be it for the twenty-five percent non-federal matching fund for Sport Fish Restoration, Clean Vessel Act or Boating Infrastructure Grant Programs, or other conference related expenses (e.g. travel costs, accommodation, registration fees).
September 9 - 12, 2019
Portsmouth, Virginia


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