SOBA Newsletter - December 2009  

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT



Wayne Shuyler, SOBA President

Dear SOBA Colleges and Boating Industry Friends,

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were enjoying the warm sun and warmer hospitality of Corpus Christi, Texas. The 23rd Annual National Boating Access Conference was a resounding success by all measures. Eighty-four percent of attendees who completed a post-conference on-line survey rated the overall conference as Excellent, Very Good, or Good. Our heartfelt thanks go to the great State of Texas – Andy Goldbloom specifically – and the City of Corpus Christi for carrying out an enjoyable and meaningful program. We also greatly appreciate all of our sponsors and exhibitors who continue to participate and support the mission of our organization.

SOBA members who attended the Corpus Christi conference also had the opportunity to interact with our counterpart NASBLA members who were attending their annual conference. The Board and SOBA conferees were graciously invited to participate in a special ceremony marking the 50th Anniversary of NASBLA. The Executive Boards of NASBLA and SOBA enjoyed an informal meal (hosted by NASBLA) where we had the chance to get to know each other better and talk about ways we can work effectively together. The City of Corpus Christi and the Texas Game Wardens hosted a joint waterfront fish fry for the two organizations and SOBA and NASBLA conference attendees were free to attend any of the sessions offered at either conference. Based on the success of our experience, we are keeping open the option co-locating our conferences again in the future. At the very least, our two Boards have established a rapport that we intend to continue to improve on and enhance.

If you missed the conference, the Proceedings will soon be available for sale. Check out the website at www.sobaus.org for details on how to order. As we discussed during the business meeting at the conference, the "Members Only" section of our website is one of the features of the website we are in the process of building – another benefit of being a member of SOBA. A compilation of the PowerPoint presentations from the annual business meeting will also be available within the proceedings if you want to catch up on the activities of the Board and your organization. All members will shortly receive a user name and password to access the "Members Only" portion of the website.

A revised and updated “Building A Better Boat Ramp” DVD was also unveiled at the conference. The latest version of this quintessential reference on boat ramp design and construction incorporates more types of ramps and new video that the Committee painstakingly assembled and packaged into a fresh, up-to-date product. Dave Kieffer and his Committee deserve a great deal of credit for the extraordinary effort they put into making this a truly valuable tool for our members to use. Each member state will be receiving two complimentary copies of the DVD. Additional copies can be purchased on-line at our website.

As incoming President I am honored to serve our members and pledge to do all I can to insure the continued success of SOBA. We have a strong Board, capable staff, and a host of actions we want to carry out in the year ahead. One of our first actions has been to establish Task Forces to take on specific projects for the coming year and possibly beyond. Instead of having standing committees like NASBLA and other organizations, we have chosen to organize around identified needs, forming Task Forces as needed to complete specific charges provided by the Board. We have placed a Board member as the chair of each Task Force, giving them the freedom to recruit members and carry out their mission within a general framework provided by the Board.

For 2010 the following Task Forces have been established with the corresponding Board member as chair:

• Operations & Maintenance Handbook update – James Adams with Lacy Nichols
• Dues and Revenues Review – Patricia Harrell
• CVA Best Management Practices – Andy Goldbloom with Janine Belleque
• Reauthorization Tracking and Response – Kent Skaar

If you have an interest in helping with any of these Task Forces, please contact the respective chair. I am sure they will welcome any help they can get from members. Keep in mind that the work of the Task Forces will be carried out by electronic means, either by e-mail or conference call.

In closing, I want our members to know that SOBA is active, solvent, and responsive. Your Board will do its best to build on the accomplishments of the past and strive to keep the organization vital and relevant in the challenging times we are facing. To that end, your Board will develop a new Strategic Plan for SOBA in the near future. We will need feedback and input from our members as we undertake this task. An on-line survey will be sent out to our members asking for your thoughts and suggestions about the past achievements and the future direction of SOBA. When you receive the survey, I urge you to reflect on SOBA – what it has meant to you and what you would like it to be.

As we move into the holiday season, I want to take the opportunity to wish all of our members a healthy and happy Christmas and continued health and happiness in 2010.


Wayne Shuyler
President



WRAP UP OF THE 23RD ANNUAL NATIONAL BOATING ACCESS CONFERENCE IN CORPUS CHRISTI




The 23rd Annual National Boating Access Conference was hosted by SOBA in Corpus Christi Texas during the last week in September. Attendees were treated to a wide range of informative program sessions at a beautiful location overlooking Corpus Christi Bay with a huge helping of Texas hospitality.

The conference started off with a day long workshop dedicated to Clean Vessel Act and Clean Boater/Clean Marina issues hosted by the Texas Sea Grant Program. The morning was dedicated to clean boater and marina education programs that included local, state and national efforts to encourage boaters to protect water quality. Much of the afternoon focused on presentations and discussions with representatives of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about updates to the CVA federal funding assistance program to states. This program provides the federal funding assistance to help construct boat sewage pump-outs and educational efforts to inform recreational boaters about proper waste disposal. Two years earlier, SOBA hosted a workshop in conjunction with the 2007 conference in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to generate issues and ideas to provide input into the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s review and update of the Clean Vessel Act. This year, SOBA members could see how this input was being integrated into the update of the CVA regulations. We were also introduced to Christy Vigfusson who this past year has taken over the coordination responsibilities of the CVA program in Washington D.C. for the USFWS.

On Tuesday and Wednesday the conference agenda was filled with educational sessions covering boating access topics from ADA access to environmental permitting and technical sessions on constructing boating access facilities. On Tuesday evening, the City of Corpus Christi, the Texas Game Warden Association and NASBLA hosted a dinner at the Corpus Christi Marina for attendees of both our SOBA conference and the NASBLA conference that was also being held in Corpus Christi. The event provided an opportunity to network with our peers involved in the boating law and safety side of our business. Both the SOBA and NASBLA boards are evaluating the pros and cons of future coordination of conferences and meetings to further our respective missions.

One tangible benefit from this year’s conference is a renewed emphasis from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service staff to utilize the expertise of SOBA and our members to assure that federal funding for recreational boating facilities is effective and is indeed serving the needs of the boating public. As these funding programs are being reviewed and re-authorized under current and future transportation funding legislation it is gratifying to experience how much value and support USFWS staff place with SOBA and our members to guide these efforts. As in past conferences, the support of the USFWS regional staff and national program coordinators by attending our conference and participating as presenters, in question and answer sessions, or simple discussions in the networking room provide tremendous value for other attendees.



I want to personally thank all who attended this year’s National Boating Access Conference especially our exhibitors and sponsors. We knew going into the planning for the conference that the current economic climate would create challenges in pulling off a successful event. Out of state travel restrictions resulted in a drop of about 12% in conference attendees and about a 30% drop in conference sponsorships. However, the number of exhibitors remained constant and the local co-hosts really stepped up to the plate. Particular thanks goes to the Texas Sea Grant program who hosted Monday’s CVA workshop and the City of Corpus Christi who provided Tuesday’s dinner and free or cut rate city facilities to hold off-site events. The City of Port Aransas teamed with Naismith Engineering to provide lunch during Thursday’s field trip to boating access facilities. The value of SOBA’s management contract with the National Marine Manufacturers Association was demonstrated as NMMA staff negotiated the contract with the host hotel that provided meeting and exhibit space at no cost. As a result, the conference was a financial success that will help support future SOBA efforts to improve public boating access facilities across this great country of ours. I hope to see all of you, maybe even more of you, again next year in Park City, Utah.



2009 SOBA ANNUAL AWARDS PRESENTED AT CORPUS CHRISTI CONFERENCE

The 2009 SOBA Awards were presented at the 23rd Annual Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas, held September 28 to October 1, 2009. A description of the awards and the awards process can be found on the SOBA website (www.sobaus.org).

The 2009 Outstanding Project Awards were presented at a luncheon on Wednesday, September 30th. The SOBA Board greatly appreciates the time and consideration that was given to each nomination submitted. All projects had great merit and all contribute to the goal of providing safe, well designed public access to the waters of our nation. It is evident from the nominations submitted that a great deal of creative and high quality pubic boat access work is being done throughout the country.

This year a total of 18 projects were considered for these awards. Nine were new submittals, and nine were carryover projects from last year that were not selected for an award in 2008. There were: 3 Small Access Projects; 7 Mid-Size Access Projects; 5 Large-Size Access Projects; and 3 Marina and Harbors Projects.

The recipients were as follows:

In the Small Access Category, the Outstanding Project Award was presented to the World Shooting & Recreational Complex, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, for the East Lake and Derby Lake boat access sites. This project is located on the World Shooting Complex near the City of Sparta in Southern Illinois. This complex is a 1200 acre site that is home of the U.S. Amateur Trap Shooting Association. Accepting the award was Mr. Gary Iles, Regional Engineer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

In the Mid-Size Access Category, the Outstanding Project Award was presented to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, for the Gloucester Point Boat Landing. This project is located beneath the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge (US Hwy 17) on the north side of the York River in Gloucester County, VA. Accepting the award was Mr. James Adams, Facilities Director for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.



Stan Linnell and Kent Skaar



In the Large Access Category, the Outstanding Project Award was presented to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, for the McQuade Public Access and Small Craft Harbor on Lake Superior. This project is located on Lake Superior, nine miles north of Duluth, Minnesota. Accepting the award was Mr. Stan Linnell, Planning, Acquisition and Development Manager for the Parks and Trails Division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Kevin Atkinson and Kent Skaar


In the Marinas and Harbors Category, the Outstanding Project Award was presented to the Pier 39 Marina for the Renovation of Pier 39 in West Basin, California. This project is located on the northeast shore of the San Francisco waterfront and is an important feature of the Fisherman’s Warf tourist area. Accepting the award on behalf of Pier 39 was Mr. Kevin Atkinson of the California Department of Boating and Waterways.


Also presented at the luncheon were two additional awards. The 2009 Special Recognition Award was presented to: The Lower Colorado River Authority, The City of Austin, and Texas A&M University for their work on Lakes Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson and Travis which examined boating use levels, and user conflicts and perceptions among boaters that will help local officials better manage boating access, recreation, enjoyment and safety on these very heavily used lakes.

The 2009 State Boating Access Program Excellence Award was presented to the Maine Department of Conservation, Boating Facilities Division. The Boating Facilities Division was recognized for over 40 years of consistently excellent service in providing public boat access to the citizens of Maine.

At the Conference Banquet on the evening of Wednesday, September 30th, the following awards were presented:

The 2009 Professional Service Award was presented to Mr. Vaughn Douglass, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for providing more than 25 years of federal grant assistance for boating access to the states in Region 5.



Ted Leverman and Kent Skaar

The 2009 Outstanding Service Award was presented to Mr. Ted Leverman, Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife for exceptional career achievements and dedication to providing and maintaining boating access facilities in the state of Indiana.

The grand finale of the conference was the presentation of the 2009 William H. Ivers Award to Mr. Erasto Nieves, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.

Erasto is considered the pioneer for public boating access in Puerto Rico over the last 30 years.

Unfortunately, Erasto was not there in person to accept his award, but his contributions to SOBA and to boating access were highlighted and appreciated by attendees.



SOBA 2010 UTAH ANNOUNCEMENT



SOBA's 2010 conference will be hosted by the

State of Utah

October 18-21

at

The Canyons Grand Summit Hotel in Park City
www.thecanyons.com
Hotel Room Rate is $91.00
To reserve your room call: 435-649-5400

Conference Fees:
Members: $375.00
NonMembers: $425.00

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!




SOBA 2012 AND BEYOND

Two states (Ohio and Alabama) have indicated interest in hosting SOBA's annual conference in 2012. In 2012, NASBLA's annual conference will be held in Alabama.

SOBA is still taking bids from states to host in 2012 and beyond. Why should your state host a SOBA conference? Read what our 2008 Host State Coordinator, James Adams (Virginia), has to say...

"The benefits of hosting a SOBA annual conference are many, but the most immediate that spring to mind are the opportunities to meet new people, form stronger friendships, experiences and information.

As a SOBA member, I found it very rewarding to have developed better relationships with the SOBA Board, and SOBA staff. This relationship resulted in a greater respect for the SOBA organization and what it provides to its Members. Being host state allowed VA to give back to an organization that has provided technical support to the VA boating programs over the years. It is very rewarding to be in a position to provide a forum that might benefit so many across the Nation. Also, the conference gives the host state coordinator an opportunity to develop relationships with sponsors and exhibitors; this provides a more rounded understanding of the interests of sponsors and their contributions to the organization. In working with the exhibitors, it brought a better awareness of their products and how interested they are in SOBA and in contributing to the continued success of SOBA.

Most exhibitors participate in various conferences throughout the year, but many look forward to the SOBA conference most of all. It is always exciting that an exhibitor might provide an answer to a site or project problem, or bring a product that shifts the thinking in future design and/or maintenance.

In VA, the conference made us more aware of the exhibitors and the products they offered, and we did take away some useful ideas that are now being used in projects. Organizing educational sessions is very challenging and allows the host state access to information and insight to Speakers and material that the state might normally not have been aware of. Being involved in the conference made me personally more aware of my own home State, Norfolk, as well as its surroundings. I engaged differently with state staff, and built some solid professional relationships that may not have occurred without the establishment of a conference team.

Another advantage for host states is the revenue the event brings to the site and area where held, although this is incidental to the SOBA mission. And last but not least, the VA pride to be able to host a successful conference and stand tall as satisfied Members, Guests and Alumni leave should not be understated."


Patricia Harrell also endorses being a host state. She comments…

"Florida hosted the 2006 SOBA National Conference in Tampa, FL. This venue allowed Florida to showcase the area and projects that included two (2) Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program projects. It was fun to see folks enjoying themselves in Florida, admiring the area, and then inquire on how we provide boating access and protect resources. I enjoy going to other states and learning too!"



BUILD A BETTER BOAT RAMP DVD COMPLETED AND AVAILABLE


SOBA’s long awaited DVD entitled “Construction Techniques for Recreational Boating Access Facilities” is now available. SOBA members will receive two free copies shortly. Additional copies may be purchased. DVD order forms will be available for download on the SOBA website (www.sobaus.org) in mid-December.


U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE UPDATE


The Service is pleased that State agencies that manage boating grants continue to work closely with the Service and their Regional Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program Coordinators. Keep up the good work.

Please remember that the FY 2010 Clean Vessel Act (CVA) Grant Program due date for applications is January 8, 2010. The official Request for Applications can be found on Grants.gov by searching for CFDA 15.616.

The FY 2010 Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program Tier 2 applications are under review. The awards are expected to be announced in February 2010. BIG Tier 1 awards are expected to be announced before the end of December 2009.

The Service continues to work with SOBA and the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC) to respond to the SFBPC’s recommendations on the CVA program. We will be working to collaborate on drafts of the CVA program regulations (50 CFR 85) and BIG program regulations (50 CFR 86) throughout the coming year. We will let you know when drafts are available for your review and comment. We look forward to having your participation and input throughout the process.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Regional WSFR Coordinator or Christy Vigfusson, National BIG, CVA, Boating Access, and Coastal Wetland Grant Program Coordinator, christy_vigfusson@fws.gov or (703) 358-1748.



SOBA REQUESTED TO ASSIST IN RESOLVING CVA RECOMMENDATIONS



The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (Council) has requested SOBA to participate in a Workgroup to provide assistance in resolving many of the Councils recommendations provided to the USFWS in the report dated June 2008 (“Boaters’ Investment in Clean Water: A Review of the Clean Vessel Act”, http://www.fws.gov/sfbpc/CVA%20Rpt_web%20only.pdf).

On November 2nd, Ed Poolos (TN) and James Adams (VA) represented SOBA in a meeting with the Council and USFWS in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting was to review the 2008 CVA report recommendations and the current status of the USFWS response and implementation to those recommendations. The meeting was productive and covered all recommendations with primary focus on those related to outreach, operations, maintenance, and the grant application process. The Council and USFWS agreed that many details yet to be worked out should involve a workgroup with SOBA representatives. The Council and USFWS are currently working on setting up the next meeting and determining if any other organization should be included in the workgroup.

USFWS did agree that any changes to the CVA application process would not be implemented before the 2011 grant application process. Also, the workgroup would provide valuable input into the CFR revision process, which the Service intends to undertake in 2010. The SOBA Executive Board will recommend Workgroup representatives to the Service when requested.



OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE PROGRAM GUIDELINES MANUAL UPDATE




The SOBA Board of Directors formed a Task Force to update and revise the September 1999 SOBA publication, “Operations and Maintenance Program Guidelines for Recreational Boating Facilities."

This effort may take 6 to 9 months with the goal to have a new publication ready to share with members at the 2010 conference in Utah in October. Task Force members will participate in monthly conference calls and expect to produce a digital product that would replace traditional printed materials.

The Task Force is Co-Chaired by James C. Adams (SOBA Vice President, Facilities Director, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries) and Lacy E. Nichols (Project Manager, Construction/Development, Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control).

Others who have volunteered to serve on this Task Force are:
  • Tim Gilley, Construction Project Consultant I

  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation

  • John Kirk, Boating Access Supervisor

  • Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries

  • Phil Miller, Section Administrator

  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources

  • Tom Holman, Federal Assistance Coordinator

  • Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks

  • John Skains, Boating Access Coordinator

  • BellSouth

  • Ron Christofferson, Boating Access Program Manager
    Arizona Game & Fish Department
While the task force has sufficient numbers, if you feel you may be able to contribute to this effort, please contact James Adams at james.adams@dgif.virginia.gov.



RBFF UPDATE


Calling All States RBFF is seeking additional states to partner with in order to help to increase boat registration renewals through proven direct mail initiatives.

Following a successful pilot marketing program that helped increase boat registration renewals in Oregon, RBFF is looking for four new state agency partners to help expand the program. The first phase of RBFF’s Lapsed Boat Registration Pilot Program was developed in partnership with the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW). As a result of the program, 765 lapsed boats were registered during the evaluation period and more than $20,000 was generated in net revenue. The new registrations also generated an estimated $25,000 in additional revenue to the state of Oregon through state gasoline taxes and allocations from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.

RBFF’s direct mail efforts with state fish and wildlife agencies also include the Lapsed Angler Direct Mail Marketing Program. The three-year direct mail initiative, which reaches out to lapsed anglers and aims to increase fishing license sales, is nearing the end of its second year. Thirty two states currently participate in the program, but it’s not too late to join! RBFF is looking for new state agency partners to bring on board.

If you are interested in joining one of RBFF’s direct mail initiatives, e-mail RBFF Director of State Initiatives Stephanie Hussey or call her at (703) 778-5152.

RBFF AND ASA PUBLISH QUARTERLY FISHING LICENSE SALES INDEX

Despite a struggling economy, fishing license sales are up 8%.

RBFF and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) announced the publication of a quarterly fishing license sales index to track trends that have an impact on the industry and the entire recreational fishing and boating community.

As of September 1, 2009, state fish and wildlife agencies reported a 7.7% positive change in the number of licenses sold year-to-date compared to the same months last year (January - July 2009 vs. January - July 2008). The same states also saw a 7% increase in the number of licenses sold in July 2009 compared with July 2008.

Reasons for the 2009 license sales increase may include:

  • A slow economy may allow people more time to engage in outdoor activities
  • Recreational fishing may be a lower cost alternative to other forms of recreation

State fish and wildlife agencies reporting license sales numbers include Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Utah. They were selected on their ability to provide consistent license sales data to illustrate both a national and regional perspective. As more states expand their data reporting capacity, the number of reporting states will increase.

This is the first in a series of planned fishing license sales indices. Future indices will be released on a quarterly basis. More details are available on www.RBFF.org.

Survey Results of Anglers’ Legacy Ambassadors and Non-Ambassadors

A new survey by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) shows that participants in the Anglers’ Legacy program introduce more newcomers to the sport than non-Ambassadors. They also report higher fishing and boating related purchases which generates additional revenue for the industry and for local fish and wildlife management efforts.

KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE:

  • Nearly 90% took newcomers fishing in the past year: averaging 3.8 newcomers/Ambassador;
  • More than 90% purchased a fishing license for themselves or someone else (2.3 on average);
  • Ambassadors purchase $2,155 in boating and fishing related equipment and services annually;
  • Non-Ambassadors reported annual expenditures of $1,560;
  • More than 90 percent fished from a boat in the past year;
  • Eighty-two percent of non-Ambassadors went fishing from a boat in the past year;
  • Nearly two-thirds of Ambassadors (60 percent) own a boat;
  • Boat ownership is 37 percent higher among Ambassadors than non-Ambassadors.

Anglers’ Legacy is an RBFF program where avid anglers take a Pledge to introduce newcomers to the sport. More than 185,000 Ambassadors have signed on to the program since its inception in May 2006.

The online survey was conducted by independent research firm EurekaFacts, LLC in September 2009 with 5,940 respondents. For an executive summary or more information, visit RBFF.org or call RBFF at (703) 519-0013.


CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS FOR "THE WORKING WATERWAYS AND WATERFRONTS NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON WATER ACCESS 2010"

SOBA is a proud sponsor of the Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access 2010 and SOBA board member Patricia Harrell sits on the Funding Task Force for the 2010 Symposium.

The Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access 2010 www.wateraccessus.com September 27-30, 2010, Portland, Maine will provide a forum to help communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals address waterfront access challenges by showcasing successful models and tools from around the country. We invite interested parties with experience in applying successful working waterfront planning and implementation approaches to submit an abstract to the symposium. Submissions due: Friday, January 22, 2010 at www.wateraccessus.com/callforpapers.html


Who Should Submit an Abstract?
● Federal, state, regional, and local government officials, staff, and decision-makers ● Members of the commercial and recreational fishing, boating, marine, and tourism industries ● Port, harbor, and navigation district authorities ● Commercial and residential real estate developers ● Residential property and business owners ● Economic development, community development, and historic preservation professionals ● Nonprofit organizations ● Environmental and maritime consultants ● Attorneys ● Academic researchers and students
* All others with approaches to share

For submission questions, please contact Kristen Grant, Maine Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension kngrant@maine.edu ; 207-646-1555
x115

The Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access 2010 Sponsors www.wateraccessus.com/sponsors.html

To access the Water Access 2010 Submission Guidelines Click Here

Natalie Springuel
Marine Extension Associate
Maine Sea Grant
College of the Atlantic
105 Eden St., Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
207-288-2944 x298
nspringuel@coa.edu
www.seagrant.umaine.edu
www.accessingthemainecoast.com
www.wateraccessus.com (Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access 2010)

Natalie Springuel is a member of The University of Maine Marine Extension Team (MET), a collaboration of Maine Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension providing educational and applied research programs in coastal community development, ecosystem health, fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism.



EXTENSION FOR TRUST FUND REAUTHORIZATION CAUSES CLASHES IN D.C.


Extension for Trust Fund Reauthorization Causes Clashes in D.C.
The previous surface transportation bill, of which the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund is a part, had a sunset of Sept. 30, 2009, and has been maintained under stop-gap continuing resolutions, the latest of which is due to expire on Dec. 18. Another continuing resolution must be passed before then to keep state and federal programs, including the recreational boating safety monies, running.

Throughout this first session of the 111th Congress, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), has clashed with the White House in how to approach reauthorization. The Chairman wants to pass a six-year highway and transit spending bill, but the White House had wanted an 18-month extension of the current law to buy more time to find new financing mechanisms for highway, transit and rail work.

Last month, seven senators detailed another possible compromise in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In it, committee leaders who originally supported the 18-month extension urged the passage of a six-month extension and then "dedicate the time necessary to complete this important legislation."

Oberstar said he would consider supporting an extension, so long as it was accompanied by a resolve to work on a long-term package, but that he would prefer a shorter one.

Regardless, action of some sort must be taken next week and we will send out a member update when that occurs.



MULTISTATE CONSERVATION GRANT PROGRAM


To date, the Multistate Conservation Grant Program (MSCGP) has directed more than $60 million to 165 national and regional priority projects of the state fish and wildlife agencies. For the 2010 MSCGP Cycle, 20 Letters of Intent, out of 66 submitted to address the seven National Conservation Needs (NCNs), were invited to submit full proposals. The National Grants Committee selected 13 proposals to recommend to state directors, which were approved during the Business Meeting. The Committee focused on directing MSCGP funds to the states’ highest priorities.

Recommended Projects for 2010 MSCGP Cycle

  • State Fish and Wildlife Agency Director Travel Administration and Coordination (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)
  • State Fish and Wildlife Agency Coordination and Administration (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)
  • Why Do Some Anglers Not Fish Every Year, and Others Do? (American Sportfishing Association)
  • Protect State Wildlife Agencies’ Authority to Sustainably Manage Wildlife Resources in Concert with Federal Actions Required by International Treaties and Conventions (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)
  • Identifying and Implementing Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Natural Resources: A Series of Regional Climate Change Workshops for State Fish and Wildlife Agencies. (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)
  • Establishing an Interagency Personnel Agreement Position in USDA-FSA to Address Biological Issues for to the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) (Wildlife Management Institute) AFWA HQ/3Q 09 36
  • Implementation of the Hunting Heritage Action Plan (Wildlife Management Institute)
  • Midwest Fish Habitat Partnerships: Meeting National Fish Habitat Action Plan Goals through Development of a Coordinated Scientific Network (Midwest Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)
  • Explore Bowhunting Education Program (Archery Trade Association)
  • Coordination of the Industry, Federal and State Agency Coalition (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)
  • Formulating a Vision for Fish Health Management in Fishery Conservation: Bridging Knowledge Gaps (Michigan State University)
  • Hunting Heritage Conservation Challenge Badge Initiative (National Wild Turkey Federation)
  • Coordination of Farm Bill Program Implementation to Optimize Fish and Wildlife Benefits to the States (Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies) Next Steps

The Association will forward the list of priority projects to the USFWS by the mandated October 1, 2009 deadline. The 2011 MSCGP Cycle will begin in December with the solicitation of National Conservation Needs (NCNs) from Association Committees and regional associations.


CHANGES TO FLORIDA BOATING ACCESS GRANT APPLICATIONS PROCESS

The Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has revised its grant programs to give boating access grant applications a higher likelihood of being approved. FDCA and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) negotiated changes in the “point system” used to rate grants so that boating-related grants were giving a heightened emphasis, putting a high priority on boating access projects. NMMA is encouraging city and county governments to submit access-related grant applications. Visit www.nmma.org for more information.


NMMA'S 2008 U.S. RECREATIONAL BOAT REGISTRATIONS STATISTICS REPORT

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) recently released its 2008 U.S. Recreational Boat Registrations Statistics report showing that nationwide, U.S. recreational boat registrations in 2008 decreased an estimated 1.4 percent compared to 2007. A total of 12.8 million vessels were registered by U.S. states or documented by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in the U.S. in 2008, compared to 13 million in 2007.

Using data for new powerboat registrations compiled by Statistical Surveys, Inc., NMMA estimates there were 270,500 new (model year 2008) powerboats registered by U.S. states during the year. Approximately 400,000 powerboats were retired from the recreational boating fleet in 2008.

“The Boat Registrations report provides an incredibly detailed look at trends within the recreational marine industry, especially on a state level,” says Jim Petru, NMMA director of Industry Research and Statistics. “Our 2008 report helps us better understand the impact on boat registrations and the overall state of the industry at the start of the U.S. economic recession.”

The 2008 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics report offers specific detail on registration totals throughout the U.S. (by hull, size and propulsion type) and documented totals by size. Registrations are also broken down within each U.S. region and state by hull material, size and mechanically propelled vs. non-mechanically propelled. In addition, the report provides insight on each state’s commercial boat registrations, and documented vessels by the USCG.

Data collected from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2008, as reported by the individual 50 states is used to compile the U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics report. Other sources include the U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Info-Link Technologies Inc.; and, Statistical Surveys Inc. Boat registration statistics are the basis for allocating Aquatic Resources Trust Fund dollars among the states each year.

Electronic copies of the study, in PDF format, are available at no charge to NMMA members by accessing the Members Only section of www.nmma.org. Non-members can order the report for $600 by contacting the fulfillment department at (312) 946-6200 or orderdesk@nmma.org.



SUPPORT THE KEEP AMERICA'S WATERFRONTS WORKING ACT
H.R. 2548 Protects & Expands Vital Boating Access Intrastructure
Background
The loss of access to nation’s waterways continues for boaters all across the United States. There are many reasons attributed to this crisis, including population increases, rising coastal property values, increasing residential development, and burdensome permit processes for marinas, among many others.

NMMA and the recreational boating community are very concerned with diminishing water access for recreational boaters and anglers. Nationwide, competition for limited access at boat ramps and marinas is increasing as these vital facilities go the way of alternative development. Recreational boating and fishing are valuable American traditions that bring important economic benefits to waterfront communities. NMMA is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and increasing recreational boater and fisher access to the waters of the United States.

Issue
Introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, H.R. 2548 amends the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 to establish a competitive matching grant program administered through the Department of Commerce. This important legislation would ensure the economic health of waterfront communities through the protection, preservation and expansion of the nation’s working waterfronts.

The legislation would preserve access to coastal waters for commercial fishing operations and other water-dependent coastal-related businesses, including recreational boating access. Grants made under the legislation must provide for expansion or improvement of public access to coastal waters and be matched at 25% by non-federal funds. The act would authorize $25 million, $50 million and $75 million to the states over three successive years. To be eligible for grant funding, a state would have to develop a working waterfront plan and appoint an advisory committee to oversee the program.

The legislation would create a federal grant program to acquire working piers and other points of waterfront access and provide funding for waterfront planning. The program is designed to allow states and local communities to support and protect places along the coast where commercial fishermen, boat builders, excursion and tour boat operators and other small businesses operate.
By providing coastal states with federal matching grants to purchase development rights and make improvements to working waterfronts, this bill would go a long way in protecting the public’s ability to access the nation’s waters. This year, Congress began the process of reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act, creating a significant opportunity for this bill to become law.

The Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, chaired by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), a cosponsor of the bill, held a hearing on H.R. 2548 in October of 2009. Despite significant bipartisan support, the Obama Administration has indicated it opposes the bill. NMMA is encouraging Members of Congress to support this legislation and help address the growing issue of the loss of water access for recreational boaters, and will also encourage the Obama Administration to reconsider its opposition.

For more information and to take action, please contact Jeff Gabriel (jgabriel@nmma.org; or 202-737-9776).



INTERNATIONAL MARINA & BOATYARD CONFERENCE
January 27-29, 2010 Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida


The Association of Marina Industries annual conference is right around the corner!

The 2010 conference offers over a dozen educational seminars on topics such as green construction, grant funding, customer and employee retention, hurricane preparation, and Web 2.0—the next generation of Web interaction that facilitates communication, information sharing, and such online collaboration as Web-based communities and social-networking sites. The conference also features product demonstrations, numerous networking events, and an exhibit hall with over 120 vendors.

IMBC is where dedicated marine professionals gather to exchange information, talk about the future of the industry, explore new methods and techniques, receive updates on revised standards and established rules, and see what's happening in other parts of the world.

Visit www.marinaassociation.org/imbc to download the conference preliminary brochure and register today! (For government employees, the Embassy Suites is offering a government rate to IMBC attendees.)

For additional information, contact:
Wendy Larimer (202) 350-9623
Legislative Coordinator
Association of Marina Industries


National Marina Day Moves to June and Joins Get Outdoors Month

Warren RI- National Marina Day is moving to a new day, Saturday June 12th, the second Saturday in June. Previously, National Marina Day was held the second Saturday of August.

The new date takes advantage of a strategic partnership to help generate support for boating as an ideal outdoor recreational pursuit for families. June is Great Outdoors Month and June 12th is National Get Outdoors Day, both coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC). Last year 46 state Governors as well as the President of the United States issued Great Outdoors Month proclamations. Boating has not been a leading activity of this effort, but with the addition of National Marina Day as a partnering event, that can change.

Derrick Crandall, President of ARC commented, "We are very excited to 'welcome aboard' National Marina Day to an existing June lineup that includes National Trails Day, National Boating and Fishing Week, the Great American Campout and more."

On National Marina Day marinas across the US are asked to celebrate and promote their industry by inviting politicians, civic leaders and the public to their facilities to show them the important role marinas play across the nation as family-friendly gateways to boating, and the responsibility marina personnel have as stewards of the environment.

National Marina Day is managed by the Association of Marina Industries-a non-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of the marina industry in the US.






2009/2010

Board of Directors


PRESIDENT
Wayne Shuyler
Assistant Director/Boating Facilities Program Manager
Oregon State Marine Board
435 Commercial Street NE
P.O. Box 14145
Salem, OR 97309-5065
Tel: 503-378-2605
Fax: 503-378-4597
Cell: 503-851-2239
wayne.shuyler@state.or.us

VICE PRESIDENT
James Adams
Facilities Director
Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
4010 West Borad Street
P.O. Box 11104
Richmond, VA 23230
Tel: 804-367-0183
Fax: 804-367-2311
Cell: 804-640-8041
james.adams@dgif.virginia.gov

TREASURER
Steven W. Miller
Director, Bureau of
Facilities & Lands
Wisconsin Department of
Natural Resources
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921
Tel: 608-266-5782
Fax: 608-267-2750
Cell: 608-347-1136
steven.miller@wisconsin.gov

PAST PRESIDENT
Kent Skaar
Acquisition and Development Section Leader
Trails & Waterways Div.-MN DNR
500 Lafeyette Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55155
Tel: 651-259-5636
Fax: 651-297-5475
Cell: 507-420-4501
kent.skaar@dnr.state.mn.us

MEMBERS-AT-LARGE

Andy Goldbloom
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Tel: 512-389-8128
Fax: 512-389-8242
Cell: 512-350-4932
andy.goldbloom@tpwd.state.tx.us

Patricia Harrell
Boating Access Coordinator
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Law Enforcement
Boating & Waterways Sec., MS1M
620 S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Tel: 850-410-0656
Fax: 850-488-9284
Cell: 850-528-9107
patricia.harrell@myfwc.com

David Kieffer
Watercraft Access Engineer
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
2045 Morse Road, Building A-2
Columbus, OH 43224
Tel: 614-265-6972
Fax: 614-262-2197
Cell: 614-309-9430
dave.kieffer@dnr.state.oh.us
_____________________________

Newsletter Editor

Bernice McArdle
SOBA Executive Director
NMMA
200 E. Randolph Dr., Ste. 5100
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: 312-946-6280
Fax: 312-946-0388
bmcardle@nmma.org






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