SOBA Newsletter April 2010 

In This Issue:

 A Message from the President
 Interior Department Secretary, Ken Salazar, Announces Appointments to the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council


Wayne Shuyler, SOBA President

Dear SOBA Colleges and Boating Industry Friends,

Spring break has been here and gone, Easter is over, and soon the boating season will be in full swing in most of the country. Time flies and we are all busy – balancing the demands of work, home, family, and friends. If SOBA is not the first thing on your mind I fully understand. But, as your President I want you to rest assured that your Board is fully engaged and keeping SOBA moving forward.

As you will read in this edition of the newsletter, your Board and Executive Director are involved in a full array of issues relevant to our members. Here are a few examples:

Annual Conference
It has become a tradition: the opening day workshop. This year, Craig Walker in Utah is working on a combined Clean Vessel Act (CVA) and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) along with a federal-aid workshop. Key officials from USFWS in Washington D.C. and the regions are planning to attend. The balance of the agenda is shaping up and will tackle topical, relevant topics facing all of us.

Most conference properties book up eighteen months in advance. Your Board has worked to get ahead of this curve and schedule our conference locations farther out into the future. We have signed agreements to hold our 2011 Annual Conference in La Crosse Wisconsin at the Radisson on the Mississippi River (see editorial later in newsletter). We are negotiating with the Renaissance Battle House in Mobile, Alabama for the 2012 conference. NASBLA is also meeting in Mobile around the same time but in a sister hotel. Be sure to put September 25-30, 2011 in La Crosse, WI and September 9-13, 2012 in Mobile, AL on your calendars. Who will be the next state to host?

Federal Programs
The US Fish & Wildlife Service is implementing changes in the Clean Vessel Act grant program, based on recommendations made by the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC). The Council will also be releasing their review and assessment of the Sport Fish Restoration Boating Access (15%) program in the near future. SOBA is actively engaged in the work group looking at the CVA program. We will also be reviewing and commenting on the recommendations resulting from the Council’s assessment of SFR Boating Access.

Working Waterways & Waterfronts Symposium
SOBA is a proud co-sponsor of this important event. Coming up September 27-30 in Portland, Maine, the Symposium will carry on with the accomplishments of the inaugural symposium held in Norfolk, Virginia in 2007.

Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies – Multi-State Grant Program
SOBA is working with Responsive Management to submit a proposal to address one of the National Conservation Needs recently approved by AFWA. Our concept will involve a national assessment of boating access, focusing on the barriers to boating, fishing, and hunting participation. We also hope to develop a template states can use to conduct statewide assessments of their own.

Task Forces
James Adams and his Task Force are well into their review and update of the Operation & Maintenance Handbook. Andy Goldbloom is assembling a Task Force to develop a Best Management Practices for the placement, operation, and maintenance of pumpouts and related equipment. Pat Harrell and her Task Force will assess any ramifications the Strategic Plan may have on membership dues and other SOBA fees.

These are just a few of the ways your Board is serving you. There are many more and you can read about some of these in this newsletter.

Finally, I want to thank all of the Board members and Craig Walker, the 2010 Conference Chair, for their continued dedication and hard work. On behalf of the entire Board I also want to thank Bernice McArdle and NMMA for the fantastic support and professional expertise they provide SOBA. These are exciting times for SOBA and your Board is leading the way.

Wayne Shuyler

Interior Department Secretary, Ken Salazar, Announces Appointments to the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the appointments of 19 individuals to the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, an advisory panel created in 1993 to advise the Secretary on nationally significant recreational fishing, boating and aquatic resource conservation issues. The announcement was made on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation reception for members of Congress.

“This council plays a vital role in exploring ways to increase boating and angling participation, particularly youth participation, while conserving our precious aquatic resources” said Salazar. “The wealth of experience and expertise offered by both returning and new council members is impressive and their efforts will most assuredly enable us to reconnect more people with boating, fishing and the natural world.”

The Secretary announced the appointment of the following individuals – whose terms begin immediately – to serve on the Council for the upcoming two-year term:

• James Adams of the States Organization for Boating Access
• James Anderson of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
• Lynne Borden of the University of Arizona
• Douglass Boyd of the Coastal Conservation Association
• Jeffrey Crane of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
• Thomas Dammrich of the National Marine Manufacturers Association
• Ned Dikmen of the Great Lakes Boating Federation
• Chris Horton of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society
• Betty Huskins of the Southeastern Tourism Policy Council
• Scott Kovarivics of the Izaak Walton League of America
• Ryck Lydecker of BoatUS
• Michael Nussman of the American Sportfishing Association
• Geoff Ratte of Water Gremlin Company
• John Sprague of the Marine Industries Association of Florida
• Roy Elicker, Director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
• David Graham, Chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Three alternate Council appointments, who may attend meetings and vote when the primary member is unable to attend, were also announced. Alternates are Maria del Valle Hamilton of the American Sportfishing Association; Steve Miller of the States Organization for Boating Access; and Gary Kania of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

During its 17 year history, the Council’s advice and recommendations have played a major role in helping the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shape the new strategic focus of its fisheries program and improve the efficiency of grant programs delivered through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. The Council played a leading role in the development of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, a groundbreaking, partnership-driven strategy to restore fisheries and aquatic habitat across the nation. It also continues to offer support and guidance to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, a non-profit organization it helped establish and whose mission is to increase the number of conservation-minded recreational anglers and boaters.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council Update

Training for new Council members is scheduled for May 25/26 as well as the first meeting of the newly appointed Council.

The Council will formally provide to members the schedule for review and approval of the Boating Access review. The schedule will be to approve the report by December, 2010.

The Council CVA workgroup is now meeting via teleconference every second Friday of each month through August to finalize needed work identified in the CVA report. The workgroup has asked SOBA to be involved in numerous actions, particularly the revision of the CVA application, outreach and maintenance, regulation revision review and comment, and review of Federal fees and their potential use as State match for CVA grants. SOBA is to form a Member workgroup to support this effort and identified Members are: Andy Goldbloom (TX), Ed Poolos (TN), Preston Smith (VA), Kevin Atkinson (CA), Stephanie Cunningham (MA), Jennine Bellaque (OR), Brenda Leonard (FL), and Casey Nelson (MN).

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Announces Major Boating Grants for Nine States

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the award of more than $12 million in competitive grants to ten states ranging from Oregon to Florida for 13 boating infrastructure projects. The grants, which will help fund construction of docks, boat slips and other facilities to support recreational boating, are made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.

“The Boating Infrastructure Grant program is one of the many ways we support access and provide quality outdoor opportunities for the nation’s recreational anglers and boaters,” said Secretary Salazar. “These grants also support major construction projects, creating jobs and providing much-needed economic benefits.”

Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuels. The Service will also release more than $2.9 million to 31 states, commonwealths and territories willing to match a smaller, non-competitive grant program known as BIG Tier One funding.

Boating Infrastructure Grant funds are used to construct, renovate and maintain tie-up facilities with features for transient boats (those staying 10 days or less) that are 26 feet or more in length and used for recreation. The funds are also used to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

The Service received a total of 22 eligible applications from 13 states for the competitive grants. The 13 winning projects for competitive grants include:

California: The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the Monterey Bay Boatworks Company, will receive $391,000 and match that amount with $433,300 to construct 603 linear feet of transient dock space and amenities at Breakwater Cove Marina in Monterey Bay.

The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the Treasure Island Marina, will receive $1,949,750 and match that amount with $2,237,250 to construct a 750 foot long transient dock with vacuum sewage disposal, handicap access to the landside restroom; shower and laundry areas; water; power; and fire suppression on Treasure Island.

The California Department of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with Channel Islands Harbor, will receive $700,400 and match that same amount to replace an existing dock and gangway with 26 boat slips, a new dump station and pumpout, along with amenities including ADA accessible restrooms and showers to accommodate transient nontrailerable boats and their users at the Peninsula Park Transient Dock Facility in Oxnard.

Florida: The State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in cooperation with the Rybovich Marina, will receive $1,247,705 and match that same amount to replace a bulkhead seawall and construct a floating dock with 2,948 feet of dockage for up to 112 transient nontrailerable vessels at the Rybovich Marina in West Palm Beach.

The State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in cooperation with the City of Riviera Beach, will receive $1,780,823 and match that amount with $1,800,825 to provide the first dedicated transient overnight dockage and day dockage for up to 42 transient vessels 26 feet in length or longer at the Riviera Beach Municipal Marina in Riviera Beach.

Indiana: The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, in cooperation with the City of Michigan City and their Port Authority, will receive $1,480,895 and match that amount with $1,545,000 to install 36 transient boat slips and dock facilities at Michigan City's Washington Park Marina on Lake Michigan.

Kentucky: The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, in cooperation with the City of Paducah, will receive $910,000 and match that amount with $320,000 to construct a 400 foot long transient dock with 26 boat slips and fuel dock along the Ohio River in Paducah.

New Jersey: The State of New Jersey Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Township of Brick, will receive $807,051 and match that amount with $482,722 to construct a 550 foot long transient dock, a handicap accessibility lift, and associated upland support facilities in the Trader’s Cove Marina in the Township of Brick.

New York: The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, in cooperation with the Clayton Local Development Corporation, will receive $1,114,586 and match that amount with $626,956 to construct a transient dock facility along the St. Lawrence River, featuring restrooms, showers and laundry facilities protected by a wave attenuator at the Clayton Transient Dock Facility in Clayton.

North Carolina: The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Beaufort Harbor Marina and Yacht Club and the Carteret County Economic Development Foundation, will receive $455,176 and match that amount with $506,176 to construct 50 transient boat slips and other amenities along Beaufort’s Town Creek.

Oregon: The Oregon State Marine Board, in cooperation with the Port of Coos Bay, will receive $645,000 and match that amount with $742,500 to provide transient slips for 13 vessels up to fifty-feet in length and 449-feet of broadside tie-up space, with direct gangway connection to the Charleston Marina Complex.

Tennessee: The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, in cooperation with the City of Clarksville, will receive $325,956 and match that amount with $325,955 to construct a dock, anchoring system, and gangway with utilities for transient boaters on the Cumberland River in Clarksville.

Virginia: The Virginia Department of Health, in cooperation with the Rockett’s Landing Marina, will receive $240,034 and match that same amount to add 15 transient boat slips, riprap embankment stabilization, full service diesel and gasoline pumps, restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities for transient boaters along the James River in Richmond.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

RFA for FY 2011 Boating Infrastructure Grant Program Announced: Your Response is Required

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will publish a request for applications (RFA) for the FY 2011 Boating Infrastructure Grant Program in May 2010. The deadline for submitting complete and final applications to the Service will be Sept. 22, 2010. Please keep your eye out for the RFA on or in your email inbox from your Regional BIG Coordinator. You will be able to find the RFA by doing an advanced search on, searching by CFDA number 15.622 or Funding Opportunity Number FWS-BIG-11 for Tier 2 and FWS-BIG-11-T1 for Tier 1.

The Service will also be announcing the grant selections for the FY 2010 Clean Vessel Act Grant Program awards very soon. The selections will be announced by press release on the Service’s website,

The Service will publish the FY 2011 Clean Vessel Act RFA by September 2010 with a December due date. You will be able to find the RFA by doing an advanced search for CFDA number 15.616 or Funding Opportunity Number FWS-CVA-11.

Do you have something that you would like to see changed about the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program or the Clean Vessel Act Grant Program? Now is your chance to have your voice heard and to make a difference.

The Service is preparing drafts of revised program regulations for BIG and CVA and plan to have a draft of 50 CFR 86 (BIG) for informal review by late summer 2010 and a draft of 50 CFR 85 (CVA) for informal review by spring 2011. Formal proposed rulemaking reviews will follow these initial informal reviews.

Your input into the revision process will be crucial, so please consider taking the time to provide your comments during these review periods. Your suggestions are also welcome before the drafts are made available. Please send them to with the subject “BIG regulation comments” or “CVA regulation comments.”

The Service is said to announce that Steve Jose, Chief, Programs Branch, will be leaving the Washington Office of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) to take a job in the Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region (R6) WSFR as their Fiscal Branch Chief. Good luck wishes are extended to Steve as he embarks upon his new position. For any of your program needs, please contact Christy Vigfusson and she will do her best to assist you.

Please let Christy know if she can provide you with more information or answer any questions with regard to the Service’s boating related grant programs.

Christy Vigfusson
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
BIG, CVA, Boating Access, and Coastal Wetland Grants National Program Coordinator, 703-358-1748

Secretary Salazar Announces $13 Million for Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation: Grant is part of renewed cooperative agreement

WASHINGTON, DC- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) will receive a grant of more than $13 million to support their nationwide campaign to recruit anglers and boaters. The grant is part of a renewed cooperative agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation has shown itself capable of working with states, conservation organizations and industry to develop and implement coordinated campaigns to get kids and families on the water,” said Salazar. “The Foundation’s campaigns have helped show millions of Americans how easy it is to find fishing and boating opportunities across the nation.”

The cooperative agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and RBFF fulfills the intent of the 1998 Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act by providing financial support for implementing and managing the objectives set forth in the National Communications Plan developed by the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council.

Recreational boaters and anglers provide essential funding for America’s fisheries conservation efforts through their purchase of more than $620 million annually in state fishing licenses and through excise taxes paid by manufacturers on sport fishing equipment and fuels taxes paid by recreational boaters which are deposited into the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. The National Outreach and Communication Program is one of several important conservation and recreation programs receiving funding from the Trust Fund.

The National Outreach and Communication Program (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 15.653) was authorized by the Sportfishing and Boating Safety Act of 1998 and has been funded since that time. The program was developed with significant input from the Department of Interior’s Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, a federal advisory act committee consisting of leaders from the government and private boating and fishing organizations.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Jerry Novotny Retires

Jerry worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for almost 44 years, including 24 years in fisheries research in South Dakota, Kentucky, and Cook, WA, and 20 years in the Region One Federal Aid/Federal Assistance/Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration Program. He was most recently the Chief of the Fisheries Section, that administers the Clean Vessel Act, Hunter and Aquatic Education, Technical Assistance, Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation, Boating Infrastructure, and Boating Access program grants.

Jerry grew up in rural Lake Andes, South Dakota. His many recollections and stories about his childhood underscore how he gained an understanding and appreciation of fish and wildlife. He is taking into retirement many personal and professional qualities admired by his friends and associates: loyalty, integrity, humility and a remarkable work ethic. He is known and admired within the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program for these personal qualities, grants management expertise, and his perspective on how to be successful: provide the highest level of customer service in a friendly and professional manner.

SOBA to Update its Strategic Plan

In June this year, the SOBA board will undertake the challenge of developing a new Strategic Plan for the organization. SOBA last undertook this initiative in early 2006 when it developed a workplan of strategic goals and initiatives crafted from an assessment of SOBA’s mission and goals.

A lot of changes have taken place in the past four years, and the SOBA board will address these changes and prepare a draft of SOBA’s goals and objectives based on member input. This draft will be rolled out to membership for further review at the annual conference in Park City later this year. To effectively identify the road ahead, SOBA needs input from its members. We have developed an online survey that will be sent to SOBA members and colleagues shortly, and we urge you to keep an eye out for the link to this survey and to give it your immediate attention. Your participation and opinions are very important to SOBA’s future.

Mark the Date: SOBA Annual Conference - Park City, Utah

Planning is underway for SOBA’s 24th Annual National Boating Access Conference on October 18 through 21, 2010 in Park City Utah. The Utah team of Division of Wildlife Resources and Division of State Parks and Recreation professionals has been hard at work assembling speakers and sponsors, visiting with venue staff, and working with SOBA board members to make this year’s event a great experience for all who attend.

Our theme this year is “Partnering for Better Access”, and we are excited to offer educational sessions on a broad array of topics ranging from aquatic invasive species control, to impacts of aging reservoirs, to improving motorboat access, to infrastructure development and maintenance, to enhancement of boater satisfaction. There’s something for everyone. We are particularly pleased to once again host our CVA and Federal Aid workshops on Monday October 18th. These workshops will give state and federal partners an opportunity to confer on the latest USFWS grant program information, and discuss the most effective way to leverage these funds toward successful project completion. Additionally, from the opening reception to the closing banquet, we will provide vendors with an opportunity to network with SOBA members and develop the relationships that are so critical to the completion of successful boating-related projects.

While attending this year’s conference we anticipate that you will enjoy the beautiful accommodations at The Canyons Resort, explore historic Park City, and marvel at the surrounding landscape. With over 100 nearby restaurants, hundreds of shops, art galleries, cafes, and a wide variety of nightclubs, Park City provides activities for every conference attendee. Additionally, the timing of the conference is perfect; offering attendees with access to world-class fly fishing and hunting, hiking, mountain biking, hot air ballooning, and golfing throughout Utah.

If you have not done so yet, we encourage you to learn more about the conference at There you will find links to detailed information on The Canyons Resort, Park City, and nearby Salt Lake City. You will also find an abbreviated conference agenda and information on conference registration. We encourage you to register now and help us make the 2010 conference a conference to remember!

2010 Call for SOBA Board Members

The annual nomination process for the SOBA Executive Board has begun. This includes filling the roles of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Members-At-Large. Terms for officers and at-large positions are one year (renewable). SOBA has a seven-member Board, which includes the Past President.

Being a SOBA board member is rewarding both professionally and personally. It allows you to experience and conquer new challenges, travel the US, encounter and interact with all sorts of different people, and your participation equates to long term positive changes within the world of boating access.

SOBA board members work hard, but their payoff is knowing that they are an integral part of a great organization that does make a difference.

So, be a part of history, and raise your hand to serve. You won’t regret it.

Please contact Kent Skaar, Immediate Past President
Tel: 651-259-5636 or or Bernice McArdle, Tel: 312-946-6280 for more information on how to nominate a colleague.

SOBA Task Force: Boating Access Facility Operating and Maintenance Manual

The team, led by James Adams, is continuing to address the revision of SOBA's O&M Manual and is close to 50% finished with addressing the 36 topics identified by the task force team. The task force team has finished 17 topics and is currently working on 9 topics with 10 remaining topics to be assigned this month. Once all identified topics have been developed, the task force team will then work towards a compiling and editing the revised Manual. Our goal is to roll out the new Manual at the 2010 Conference in Utah in October. As you would expect, the task force team will not sacrifice quality in order to meet this time goal.

Thanks to the hard work from team members Tim Gilley (FL), John Kirk (VA), Phil Miller (OH), Tom Holman (MS), John Skains (MS), Ron Christofferson (AZ), Kristen Kuykendall (WA), and Dennis Kincer (WV).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact James Adams, SOBA Executive Board Vice President at

SOBA 2010 Awards

The States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) is happy to announce a call for its 2010 awards nominations. Each year SOBA requests nominations for the following awards:

• The William H. Ivers Award
• Outstanding Service Award
• Professional Service Award
• Special Recognition Award
• State Boating Access Program Excellence Award • State Clean Vessel (CVA) Program Excellence Award and
• Outstanding Project Awards in Four (4) categories: 1) small, 2) mid-size, 3) large, and 4) marina and harbors.

The awards will be presented at SOBA’s annual conference, October 18-21, in Park City, Utah.

Your Nominations are Worth the Effort!
Recognition of outstanding work is very important and all too often outstanding work goes unrecognized. The SOBA Awards Program allows us to help you by recognizing outstanding achievement of your staff, your peers, and the many cooperators and partners you work with. The SOBA Executive Board makes an extra effort to recognize outstanding work; a nomination in itself is a statement of recognition and definitely worth the effort!

How to Nominate
A complete description of award criteria for all nominations is provided below. (NOTE: Outstanding Project Awards submitted in 2009 that were unsuccessful are automatically resubmitted in 2010 for consideration.) New Nominations should be forwarded electronically to Dave Kieffer no later than May 14, 2010 in one of two ways:

• By email (15 MG or less)
• Copied and mailed on a CD

All work initiatives should be completed when your nomination information is submitted, and if in rare circumstances this is not possible, please contact Dave Kieffer directly.

David Kieffer
Division of Watercraft
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
2045 Morse Road; Building A-2
Columbus, OH 43224
Telephone: 614-265-6972
Cell: 614-309-9430
Fax: 614-262-2197

Secondary Contact:
Susan Estep

Telephone: 614-265-6485

Award Descriptions

The William H. Ivers Award is presented to an individual who has contributed significantly over at least 15 years to the design, construction, management or administration of boat access facilities or programs. The nominee’s contributions will exemplify high standards of professionalism and outstanding achievement.

The Outstanding Service Award is presented to an individual or to an agency who have made either a one-time or continuing contribution to improved access on our nation’s public waters for boaters and anglers.

The Professional Service Award is presented to an individual SOBA member or to a group of SOBA members (most often a designated Task Force or Committee) for service on a special project or for ongoing efforts on behalf of SOBA’s mission.

The Special Recognition Award is presented to an individual, group, organization or political subdivision in recognition of activities that are singularly illustrative or supportive of SOBA’s mission.

The State Boating Access Program Excellence Award is presented to a state agency that has primary responsibility for boat access development, and which has excelled over time and provided outstanding service to its residents and visitors to the state.

The State Clean Vessel Act (CVA) Program Excellence Award is presented to a state agency that has primary responsibility for the state clean vessel act program, and which has excelled over time and provided outstanding service to its residents and visitors to the state.

The Outstanding Project Awards are presented to agencies, groups, local government, or corporations involved in boating access projects that are judged to be useful, high quality, unique, economical and/or innovative. There are four (4) project award categories: 1) small, 2) mid-size, 3) large, and 4) marina and harbors (includes BIG projects).

SOBA Conference 2013: Host State Needed

We are pleased to announce that the State of Alabama has raised its hand to host SOBA’s 2012 conference (September 9-13). This event will be staged in Mobile, and will coincide with NASBLA’s annual conference.

SOBA is looking for host states to bid for 2013 and beyond.

Being a host state for SOBA’s Annual National Boating Access Conference offers many rewards, including the opportunity to meet new people, form stronger friendships, gain from the experience of hosting such an important event, and forge stronger bonds with sponsors and exhibitors that brings better awareness of their products and services. It also gives a State the opportunity to “give back” to an organization that has provided technical support to so many state boating programs over the years, and allows them to showcase their state and its various program projects.

It's easier than you think!

Contact Wayne Shuyler at 503-378-2605 or for more information.

Construction Techniques for Recreational Boating Access Facilities (DVD)

With the release in February of SOBA’s new and revised DVD, “Construction Techniques for Recreational Boating Access Facilities,” each State should now have their two courtesy copies of the DVD. SOBA would like to remind its members and colleagues that there are numerous reasons to promote and market this excellent product. Encourage your industry colleagues and partners to avail of this valuable resource – here’s a couple of reasons why:

  • Agencies with access to Sport Fish funds can use those funds to buy multiple copies for distribution to contractors.

  • One state is considering a requirement in their “Bid Documents” that a contractor building a launch ramp should include purchase and review of the DVD as part of their bid.

  • Another state is mandating a requirement of their “Access Grants” for the local entities to buy a copy of both the DVD and SOBA’s Design Manual for use by their local consultants and contractors.

    We believe there are other suggestions our members and colleagues can share with us on ways to get this updated and resourceful product into the hands of people who play a vital role in helping us all construct better boating access.

    What is your state doing? We would love to hear from you. Contact Dave Kieffer at 614-265-6972 or with your news stories.

    For more information about the DVD, and how to order Click Here

    SOBA 2011 Conference - LaCrosse, WI
    SOBA Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

    The National Boating Access Conference, 2011, sponsored by SOBA, will be held September 25-29 in La Crosse, Wisconsin and will mark SOBA's 25th Anniversary! We will look to the past and to the future as we examine SOBA’s important role in the recreational boating industry, our linkages with nature and the environment, and our ongoing contributions and partnerships.

    At the La Crosse Radisson Hotel, located on the Banks of the “Mighty Mississippi”, Wisconsin will host a “teaching conference” where participants will be provided a venue that will encourage learning and the exchange of information and ideas, in a truly beautiful and relaxed river town environment.

    Along with your keen interest, plan to bring along your ideas, stories and some photos of the “good old days,” as well as stories and photos of your current successes as SOBA celebrates 25 years of progress.

    SOBA, Fall and Oktoberfest in La Crosse, Wisconsin – what more could you want? We’ve covered it all.

    If you have old photos of past SOBA conferences and attendees and can have them scanned or duplicated we would appreciate you sending a copy by mail or electronically to:

    Steve Lewis
    Bureau of Facilities and Lands
    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    PO Box 7921
    Madison, WI 53707
    Phone: 608-219-0067

    Our hope is to receive enough materials so that we can put together a collection of mementos to help celebrate our 25 years of existence.

    The American Boating Congress

    The American Boating Congress (ABC) is a comprehensive legislative conference that brings together recreational boating industry leaders to formulate public policy and present a unified front on issues that impact marine businesses. It highlights how current state and federal regulatory issues affect the industry, and provides industry leaders the opportunity to go on Capitol Hill visits to update representatives on issues that affect the livelihood of the boating industry. ABC also offers a host of educational seminars promising informative, engrossing sessions intended to update guests on issues of vital importance to the boating business. Attendees include executives, owners and key employees of boat manufacturers, engine manufacturers, boat dealers, marina operators and owners, marine accessory manufacturers, industry service providers, state and local marine trades associations, and federal and state government.

    SOBA will be represented at ABC by Wayne Shuyler (President) and James Adams (Vice President). They will be providing attendees with a short presentation on SOBA, its activities, its importance to boating, and highlighting some project work that was completed with Wallop Breaux monies.

    ABC will run May 5-6 in Washington, DC. Further information can be found by visiting NMMA’s website at

    Subscribe to SOBA's List Serv

    Are you a subscriber to SOBA's List Serv? If so, that's great! If not, let us remind you of some of the great benefits you may be missing:

  • It's an excellent way of staying in touch with everything that's going on within SOBA

  • It's a great opportunity to keep abreast of current issues

  • It's a chance to communicate with friends and colleagues

  • To be added to our list of subscribers, please send an email to

    SOBA Moves Office

    On May 13th SOBA will relocate to a new office.

    231 South LaSalle Street
    Suite 2050
    Chicago, IL 60604

    Note: Telephone, fax, email and web address will not change.

    Minnesota State Legislature Proposes Public Water Access Moratorium

    A Bill introduced in the Minnesota Legislature during the initial weeks of the 2010 Minnesota Legislative Session proposes to place a five year moratorium on the acquisition and/or development of new Public Water Access sites adjacent to public waters that don’t already have a public boat launch. The Minnesota House and Senate companion bills (HF 3230 and SF2890) would preclude all activities by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, during the mandated five year period that would result in the establishment of any new recreational boating access facilities. The Bill’s authors have testified that the principal justification for the proposed legislation is to require the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to do more to control the spread of invasive plants, animals and fish disease. The Bill’s introduction is, however, also the direct result of actions by an association of property owners on a small lake located northwest of the City of Duluth, Minnesota, to have a proposal by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to purchase a lakeshore property from a private party for Public Water Access purposes tabled. To date, several Minnesota Legislators, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Boat US, a number of Regional and Local boating and angling organizations, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have provided testimony concerning the negative aspects of the Bill, expressing that the waters of the State of Minnesota, including those affected by the proposed legislation, are all public waters managed for all residents and visitors to the State and are not for the exclusive use by the surrounding lakeshore property owners.

    The proposed Bill mandating a moratorium on the creation of any additional Public Water Access sites in the State of Minnesota until 2015, remains before the Minnesota Legislature. The Minnesota Legislature remains in session until 15 May 2010.

    Florida Boating Access Study

    The Boating Access Facilities Inventory and Economic Assessment including a Pilot Study of Lee County was completed in August 2009. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct the Study, along with a contribution from Lee County, Florida.

    The Study consisted of a comprehensive, statewide inventory of all boat ramps, marinas, dry storage, and mooring fields for saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water statewide to assist the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to determine the total number of public and private boating facilities, with location of these facilities. To complete the economic assessment phase of the Study, a boater survey was conducted, a site suitability analysis completed, and a Random Utility Model developed that will be used to develop specific models to address and prioritize the State’s boating access needs statewide through 2025.

    The full report, appendices, and accompanying summaries are available on the Web at Click on Boating at the top of the screen. Scroll down to Boat Access and the reports are listed under the heading Florida Boating Access Facilities Inventory and Economic Study, including a pilot study for Lee County – 2009. In addition an on-line program was developed to allow users to run Economic Impact Models for proposed or current facilities that is available at

    Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access 2010

    SOBA is proud to be a sponsor of the 2010 Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access. This event will be held September 27 – 30, 2010 in Portland, Maine. The 2010 Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium on Water Access will provide a forum for diverse users to meet, address common dilemmas, and share solutions. This collaborative problem-solving approach promises to provide unique and innovative approaches to address water access needs.

    Building on the inaugural symposium in Norfolk, Virginia, in 2007, participants in 2010 will increase awareness of the economic, social, cultural, and environmental values of waterfronts, and the important role of water-dependent uses in sustainable coastal communities.

    Portland is located on the shores of Casco Bay which is part of the Gulf of Maine. The conference hotel is the Holiday Inn by the Bay with a rate of $169/night. Registration for the conference is only $325. For more information on the 2010 Working Waterways and Waterfronts National Symposium visit the Web site at

    Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)Update

    The US Fish & Wildlife Service has awarded the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) another grant, totaling more than $13 million, to support their nationwide campaign to recruit anglers and boaters. The grant was awarded after an open, competitive RFP process and renews the existing cooperative agreement between RBFF and the Service.

    Dr. Brian Bohnsack, formerly the USFWS coordinator of the Clean Vessel Act program, has been selected to succeed Mary Burke as the Service’s liaison and to administer the grant to RBFF.

    RBFF’s On-line Access Guide
    RBFF staff are in the process of collecting data from Regions 4 & 5 BIG and CVA program coordinators and state Direct Mail Marketing Program partners. Representatives from more than 27 states have expressed interest in providing to RBFF for the national Access Guide. The interested states include: AK, AL, FL, IA, IN, KS, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, NH, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA and WI. For more information contact Maria Knight at

    Lapsed Boater Program
    In addition to engaging in a second phase of the pilot program in Oregon that yielded nearly 800 renewed boat registrations, RBFF is expanding the program and will work with Ohio, Tennessee, and Utah to implement similar programs. For more information, contact Stephanie Hussey at

    Twelve Connecticut Marinas and Yacht Yards Receive Recognition as "Connecticut Clean Marinas"

    The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today recognized twelve marine facilities, including nine more of the of the Brewer family of Marinas, Yacht Yards and Shipyards in Connecticut, as recreational boating facilities to be certified as "Connecticut Clean Marinas."

    At a ceremony at the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) Hartford Boat Show, the Clean Marina certification was presented to nine Brewer group recreational boating facilities in Connecticut and to Spicer’s Marina in Noank, Reynolds Garage and Marine in Lyme, and Mystic Shipyard East in Mystic. DEP’s Clean Marina designation acknowledges the efforts of marinas and other boating facilities to go beyond regulatory compliance and participate in voluntary measures to keep Connecticut waters clean. With the addition of the twelve facilities today, there are now twenty-seven Clean Marinas in Connecticut.

    Governor Rell said, "Connecticut’s Clean Marina program serves as an outstanding example of responsible use of our natural resources for recreational purposes. I commend the marina and shipyard owners and their excellent teams of marine facility managers for making commitments to go beyond regulatory compliance and participate in voluntary measures to keep Connecticut waters clean. Their efforts serve as models for other marinas, not only in Connecticut, but throughout all of New England."

    Amey Marrella, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection said, "The DEP recognizes these exemplary facilities for their voluntary efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of their marina operation. We encourage all Connecticut marinas, yacht clubs, and boatyards to follow these examples and participate in this program, not only to keep Connecticut’s waterways clean and healthy, but also to maintain the quality of our waters for a variety of important recreational activities."

    Grant Westerson, Executive Director of the Connecticut Marine Trades Association said, "The Connecticut Marine Trades Association is very pleased and proud to welcome this new class of a dozen Connecticut Clean Marinas. These twelve are environmental leaders in their field and will help motivate the rest of the industry to embrace the Clean Marina program in the near future."

    Jack Brewer, President, Brewer Yacht Yards said "Over the last several years, our companies have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as hundreds of man-hours, developing, implementing, and upgrading the environmental compliance systems and best management practices at each of our Brewer Yacht Yard facilities. This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to protecting the marine environment and the waters that support our industry. We are thrilled that our efforts are being recognized, at this time, by Connecticut’s DEP, as nine more of our yards are named "Clean Marinas" under the state’s certification program. We are proud to have achieved this status, and pledge to continue to do our part as well as to educate and inspire others to do the same."

    Jeff Marshall, Manager, Mystic Shipyard East said," Mystic Shipyard East is honored to have been awarded the Clean Marina status. We have worked very diligently to be environmentally safe as well as teaching our customers to be as pro-active as possible. We live by the philosophy that a cleaner environment is a better environment which makes boating more enjoyable for all. We are thrilled that Mystic Shipyard East has been able to meet the requirements of the program and look forward to doing our part to continue to upgrade our facility to the highest standards in environmental compliance."

    The twelve newly certified facilities include:

    Clean Marina No. Facility Name/Location Date of Certification
    16th Spicer's Marina, Noank September 18, 2009
    17th Reynolds Garage & Marine, Lyme September 18, 2009
    18th Brewer Stratford Marina, Stratford September 28, 2009
    19th Brewer Dauntless Marina, Essex September 28, 2009
    20th Brewer Yacht Yard at Mystic, Mystic September 28, 2009
    21st Brewer Dauntless Shipyard, Essex September 28, 2009
    22nd Brewer Deep River Marina, Deep River November 12, 2009
    23rd Brewer Ferry Point Marina, Old Saybrook November 20, 2009
    24th Mystic Shipyard East, Mystic November 20, 2009
    25th Brewer Bruce & Johnson's Marina, Branford December 4, 2009
    26th Brewer Bruce & Johnson's Marina - West, Branford December 4, 2009
    27th Brewer Yacht Haven Marina (West Yard), Stamford December 4, 2009

    These facilities offer a variety of services to marine customers including boat slips, deep water moorings, on-site services that include marine pumpouts, wood shops, boat repair and annual maintenance, seasonal vessel commissioning and decommissioning, vessel storage and more. A number of these facilities also offer on-site restaurants and swimming pools in addition to in-water recreational boating amenities.

    Some of the voluntary efforts that these facilities have undertaken to reduce their impact on the environment include switching to green cleaning products, prohibiting the disposal of fish waste in the marina basins, refraining from using any pesticides or fertilizers on site, providing convenient recycling containers for customers and staff to use for plastic, glass and metal food and beverage containers, and providing clean boating information to customers in the ships stores. Many of the facilities also offer spill proof oil changes to customers, provide oil/water separation services to remove oil from bilge water, use native plantings in the landscape, provide bags for customers to pick up pet waste for proper disposal, and recycle shrink-wrap both in the fall and spring from customers’ boats.

    To become certified as a Connecticut Clean Marina, marina operators must show that their facility operates in compliance with all applicable environmental regulatory requirements, and illustrate voluntary operation at standards above and beyond compliance in seven categories: mechanical activities, painting and fiberglass repair, hauling and storing boats, fueling, facility management, emergency planning, and boater education. Certified Clean Marinas are authorized to fly a Clean Marina flag and to use the Clean Marina logo on their publications and letterhead. DEP will also promote certified Clean Marinas through the Clean Marina Program public outreach efforts.

    Connecticut’s Clean Marina Program is a voluntary program that encourages marina operators to reduce nonpoint source pollution associated with the operation of recreational boating facilities in Connecticut’s inland and coastal waterbodies, and promotes clean water and clean air. Nonpoint sources of pollution occur when water runs over land, picks up pollutants, and deposits them in surface waters. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites nonpoint source pollution as a leading cause of water quality problems throughout the United States. Any marina, boatyard, or yacht club on any inland or coastal body of water in Connecticut that meets the established criteria is eligible for voluntary certification as a Clean Marina. The first step to Clean Marina certification is to sign a Clean Marina Pledge.

    These newly certified Clean Marina facilities join:

    Saybrook Point Inn, Marina, and Spa Old Saybrook
    Harry's Marine Repair Westbrook
    Shennecossett Yacht Club Groton
    Dodson Boatyard Stonington
    Milford Landing Marina Milford
    Guilford Town Marina Guilford
    Noank Village Boatyard Noank
    Gwenmor Marina Mystic
    Connors & O'Brien Marina Pawcatuck
    Mystic Shipyard West Mystic
    Three Belles Marina East Lyme
    Brewer Pilots Point Marina (South and East Yards & North Yard) Westbrook
    Ritt's Marina Westbrook
    Beacon Point Marine Greenwich

    For more information about Connecticut's Clean Marina Program, contact Kate Brown at 860-424-3652, email or Rick Huntley at 860-424-3609, email

    Kate Hughes Brown Grants and Outreach Coordinator Office of Long Island Sound Programs Department of Environmental Protection 79 Elm Street Hartford, CT 06106-5127 Voice: direct: 860-424-3652 Voice: main office: 860-424-3034 Fax: 860-424-4054

    National Marina Day Activities Move to June 12, 2010

    National Marina Day activities are moving to June 12 this year. Members of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation's Boating Committee and the major national boating organizations are in agreement to move the National Marina Day activities to June 12 this year to coincide with other events going on with National Fishing and Boating Week. The national groups are currently also deciding on a theme or are renaming this event, so keep this in mind as the event planning moves forward.


    Board of Directors

    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

    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

    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

    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


    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

    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

    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

    Newsletter Editor

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

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