SOBA Newsletter - April 2013 April 2013 

In This Issue:

 President's Message
 SOBA’s 2013 Portland Conference is Coming!
 Discover Boating’s 2013 Marketing Plans Outlined in New Webinar
 Call for Nominations: 2013 SOBA Awards
 SOBA Heads South in 2014
 Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council Update
 SOBA Participates in Third National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium
 SOBA Continues Effort to Thwart the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
 Update on BIG/CVA/Boating Coordinator Listings
 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Update, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR)
 Establishment of the Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Education Grant
 AMI Update
 IMI Announces Plans for the 10th Drystack Conference
 Vaughn Douglas Memorial Scheduled for May 17
 Update from the Capitol
 Member News: Julie McQuade Becomes New Ohio BIG and CVA Program Coordinator

President's Message

Dear SOBA Members and Partners:

Spring has officially arrived, but here in Virginia, winter is holding on; on March 25th we had a half a foot of snow which ruined a fishing trip.  Spring fishing (in a boat of course!) has been slow, but I can always find an excuse to be on the water.  I hope that spring weather has arrived for you, and getting out of the office to enjoy our great natural heritage has not been too difficult. 

The next few months will be busy ones for your SOBA Board Members. Janine Belleque (Vice President) and I will be attending the American Boating Congress (ABC) in Washington DC on May 8th and 9th. We will join a broad group of boating industry partners joining the rallying-cry to strengthen the industry’s collective advocacy impact.  An engaging lineup of event speakers will feature an influential group of policy specialists and industry authorities, as well as legislative and regulatory officials including Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).  For more information see

Also during ABC, Janine and I will attend a Boating Leadership Summit Advocacy and Access Task Force Committee that will focus on improving the boating industry’s presence and importance on Capitol Hill.  The agenda’s objectives are to protect, grow, and enhance the voice of recreational boating.  This action team will also serve as a clearinghouse for advocacy issues that expand industry grassroots involvement in issues impacting recreational boating.  The boating industry is an ecosystem, and the output of this group highlights the fact that legislation or regulation that adversely impacts one segment of the industry will harm the entire industry.

As your representative on the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC), I will be attending their spring meeting on May 20-21 in Washington, DC.  Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to meet the new Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, if confirmed by the US Senate.  For more information about the SFBPC, see  Janine Belleque is SOBA’s alternate on the SFBPC, and she will be reporting on some of her activities later in this newsletter.  As you may know, the USFWS has issued a second “Request for Applications” for Boating Infrastructure Grants (see FWS update later in this newsletter).  The SFBPC works closely with USFWS and reviews all applications, ranks them and then recommends to USFWS those applications (depending on funding availability) for funding an award.  It has been my privilege to represent SOBA on the Boating Issues Committee of the SFBPC, and to participate in this application review process.  I can tell you that the Boating Issues Committee takes this responsibility seriously, and each application receives due diligence and scrutiny before it receives a professional unbiased ranking and recommendation.

In past news, we have reported on the USFWS 2013 Multistate Conservation Grant awarded to SOBA to conduct a project entitled, “Enhancing Fishing Access through a National Assessment of Recreational Boating Access”.  The grant award is $187,996.00 with matching funds of $55,000 from SOBA and its partners: The National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Boat US, and the Association of Marinas Industries.  SOBA has partnered with Responsive Management ( an independent research firm that for the past 23 years has specialized in natural resources and outdoor recreation research, including numerous studies on boating and boating-related issues) to conduct the survey. 

To date, progress on this grant includes:

  • Initiated research review to assist assessment design; review of other studies to assess boating access, identify obstacles and challenges, and develop a foundational content for assessment design.
  • Kick off meeting held with partners on January 16th at USFWS offices in Arlington VA; reviewed current research and set parameters for research design and the development of the assessment tool(s).
  • Determined location of 6 focus groups (boaters, industry, professionals).  Conducted a professional focus group using the SOBA Executive Board Members (conference call).  Boating focus group facilities reserved, databases obtained from participating states (VA, OR, WI, TX).
  • Industry focus group planned on May 7th.

We will continue to keep you informed of progress on this grant.

Janine Belleque and her team, which includes SOBA Past President Wayne Shuyler, continue to work on the development of an exciting and progressive agenda for our 2013 Conference in Portland, Oregon, later this year (September 30 – October 3).  Portland is a major “green” city known for their environmental and energy conservation emphasis, and our 2013 team is working to incorporate this theme into our annual event.  You don’t want to miss this one!  Visit for full details.  You’ll also note later in the newsletter that Little Rock, Arkansas will play host to our 2014 Conference, and Tom Jones from the Arkansas Department of Health will work closely with the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission to stage this event.  We are also in negotiations with a host state for our 2015 conference, and will bring further news to you about this soon.

SOBA Treasurer, Ron Christofferson, is coordinating our annual awards program this year.  Our states do such outstanding work on boating access, and what better way to publicly recognize and thank staff and peers for their hard work than to submit a nomination for one of SOBA’s various awards.  It’s easy to do!  Please read the article later on in this newsletter for additional information and news on how to nominate. 

SOBA Board Member Craig Walker has been busy guiding the SOBA Task Force on Aquatic Invasive Species. This is an extremely important and timely task force for SOBA. Virginia has not experienced some of the serious impacts from invasives that other states are facing, but I know that these impacts for many Midwest and Western states are serious, and the output and best practices recommendations of this group will be invaluable to many state programs. This issue will continue to grow in importance, so stay tuned.

Thank you for your interest and contributions to SOBA. Without the support and involvement of our many partners and members, SOBA would not be the organization it is today. We look forward to working with, and for you, during the coming year.

The weather is improving, the fish are biting, there is gas in the boat, so – “gotta go!”  Hope you enjoy spring.
James Adams
SOBA President

SOBA’s 2013 Portland Conference is Coming!

Portland, Oregon - the City of Roses - is beckoning!  Think Fall, think glorious weather, think vibrant, and think one of the best SOBA conferences ever.  That’s what the Oregon State Marine Board is preparing for you.  As the state host for the 27th Annual National Boating Access Conference, Portland invites you to arrive early, stay beyond the conference dates, or both.  There are so many things to see and experience here, that you might just want to stay... at least for a while.

Essential facts about the conference:

The Dates:      September 30 to October 3, 2013

Registration:  Early registration is available now through August 30 at:

The Program: Federal Aid Workshop, General Sessions, Breakout tracks with a Technical and a Program focus as well as a Green/Sustainable/Alternative Boating track; a full Exhibit Hall with Vendors; Annual business meeting and elections; Awards program; and the traditional field trip.  The latest revised program is included here, but as it evolves be sure to check or for the most up-to-date information. 

The Hotel: The DoubleTree by Hilton, 1000 NE Multnomah Street in the Lloyd District,

To guarantee federal per diem rates, ask for the SOBA Group Rate and book by Sept. 9 at:

Discover Boating’s 2013 Marketing Plans Outlined in New Webinar

Discover Boating's Welcome to the Water campaign is gearing up for launch during the busy spring and summer boating months. From digital advertising to social media and public relations, there’s an integrated marketing mix on tap. Learn more on how you can get involved in the industry-wide movement to welcome more people to the water via a recorded webinar outlining 2013 marketing efforts for the industry-wide campaign – click here to download.

In the meantime, check out web resources, tools and applications you can use, as well as promotional materials available to the recreational boating industry (at no charge), to help welcome current and future boaters to the water. All materials are available to order on

Call for Nominations: 2013 SOBA Awards

The States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) is happy to announce a call for its 2013 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

•     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 27th annual conference in Portland, Oregon, September 30th to October 3rd, 2013

A complete description of the awards criteria and nomination forms are available on the SOBA website:  (NOTE:  Outstanding Project Awards submitted in 2012 that were unsuccessful are automatically resubmitted in 2013 for consideration.)  New nominations should be forwarded to Ron Christofferson no later than May 17, 2013 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 Ron Christofferson at the following address:

Ron Christofferson
Boating Facilities Program Manager
Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Hwy
Phoenix, AZ 85086
Tel: 623-236-7481     
Fax: 623-236-7327

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 that 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 Heads South in 2014

SOBA’s National Annual Boating Access Conference will be in Arkansas in 2014 (October 6 – 9) at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock.  The City of North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Wyndham are thrilled that SOBA is coming to Arkansas and have promised to pull out all the stops!  The Wyndham is in the hub of the Arkansas River/Downtown North Little Rock/Little Rock vicinity and electric street cars serve the North Little Rock and Little Rock sides of the River that take you to some excellent shopping areas, restaurants, pubs, and mini-breweries.  . Or you could walk on the world's longest pedestrian-intended bridge which brings you into the Little Rock downtown area. The Big Dam Bridge sits on and over Murray Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River. There’s something for everyone in Little Rock! 

For our nature oriented folks we have one of the best walking/ jogging/ biking trails (42 miles) in the area, which travels on north and south banks of the River.  On this trail we have the Big Dam Bridge(which goes over the top of Murray Lock and Dam), and just upstream from Big Dam Bridge, we have what the locals call Little Dam Bridge, with both locations putting on quite a light show at night time.  And of course there’s lots of great fishing and boating opportunities for those so inclined!

We are planning a Cajun Style Cookout on Monday night at the Maritime Museum, served in one of the floating museum facilities.   The museum houses a submarine, barges, and a paddle wheel riverboat. Our field trip will bring us to Little Rock Yacht Club, Rockwater Marina, and Burkhalter Marina.  All three marinas are new projects for CVA and BIG Tier 1 and 2, which I am quite proud of.  The longest bus ride to a location will only be a maximum of 45 minutes. 

See what Forbes Travel Guide Inspector suggests a visitor does with just one day in Little Rock:

  • Start off your day with breakfast at Ashley’s. This fine dining establishment in the Capital Hotel serves up a unique and particularly Arkansawyer breakfast that you can’t find anywhere else in the state. Chef Lee Richardson’s done his research, serving up locally produced War Eagle Mill grits and oatmeal, corned beef hash made entirely on site from regional beef and local produce. Fresh-squeezed juices pair great with homemade jams and jellies.
  • Hop on the River Rail Trolley to get around the city. For $3 you can pick up a day pass that will take you around to see downtown Little Rock’s best attractions.
  • Take that trolley over to the Clinton Presidential Center and visit the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. It’s not all about our 42nd president; rotating exhibits cover everything from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s pin collection to the Army years of Elvis Presley.
  • Behind the library you’ll find Heifer Village, where you can discover more about Heifer International’s goals to end poverty and hunger around the world. Kids love the exhibits featuring sustainable experiments.
  • Drop by the charming Clinton Museum Store on your way back. This great little shop features gifts from around the world, eclectic Little Rock souvenirs, books and knick-knacks featuring Clinton and great gift ideas.
  • Have lunch at the Oppenheimer Hall at the Little Rock River Market. You’ll find anything you want to eat there - from great Cajun cooking at FatSam’s Louisiana Kitchen to fine deli meats at Mason’s Deli to fresh made breads and salads from Boulevard Bread Company.
  • Two blocks away, you’ll find the Historic Arkansas Museum, a collection of buildings from the 19th century carefully restored with period furnishings and administered by a pack of costumed docents ready to tell you just about anything about the state’s creation and history.
  • Three blocks from that is the Old Statehouse Museum. The big white edifice was once the center of government for the state; today it houses artifacts from 175 years of Arkansas history, along with great exhibits covering Election Night 1992 and the inaugural gowns of the First Ladies of Arkansas.
  • Head next door to The Peabody Little Rock for the evening Duck Walk. Duck Master Lloyd will usher the famed Peabody Ducks from the hotel’s fountain and escort them back to their Duck Condo.

We are well on our way, and the Arkansas team promises you a great time with some good southern hospitality.  We hope we have managed to whet your appetites, and we suggest you mark your 2014 calendars!

Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council Update

Winter’s grip is slowly loosening.  And with that comes a rush of activity.  Just like all of you, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council is gearing up for to spring into action.

First, we look forward to welcoming a new Secretary of the Interior.  As many of you are probably aware, Sally Jewell, CEO of the outdoor equipment retailer REI, has been nominated to replace Ken Salazar as Interior Secretary.  Assuming all goes well, by the time you read this she will be on board in her new post.  Given her background as the leader of one of the larger outdoor retailer in the United States and as an avid outdoorswoman, Council members have very high hopes that she will build on the efforts of former Secretary Salazar to make outdoor recreation, including recreational boating and angling, an increasing focus of the Interior Department.  We look forward to welcoming her at the upcoming Council meeting.

That said, plans are underway for several Council-related meetings.  A number of Council committees or subcommittees are gearing up to meet.  The full Council will meet next on May 20 & 21, 2013, in Washington, D.C.  The major piece of business will be the consideration of Council recommendations for creating a new “vision” for fish and aquatic resource conservation in the Fish and Wildlife Service.  This has been no small task and we foresee working with the FWS over the coming months to assist with implementation.

Boating issues will continue to be a high priority for the Council.  We anticipate a request by the FWS to the Council asking our help in examining why annual funding through the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program and Clean Vessel Act Grant Programs has not been fully utilized.  The Council looks forward to working with the FWS and SOBA to take a look at what is causing this and making recommendations that will assure the annual funding is fully utilized.  One way the FWS is utilizing some of the extra funding in Fiscal Year 2013 is by making a 2nd round of BIG funding available.  This was a good move on the part of the FWS and the Council commends them for pursuing this option. 

There are many other issues that the Council looks forward to begin to address this spring.  I will update you soon on the progress we are making.

SOBA Participates in Third National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium

SOBA Vice President Janine Belleque recently attended the third National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium in Tacoma, Washington.  This was the first time NWWWS was held on the west coast.   The symposium focused on the increasing conflicts over access to the waterfront and types of use.   Participants discussed several issues such as public access for recreational boaters, permitting and burdensome regulations, revitalization and conflicts in public perceptions of what working waterfronts should and shouldn’t be.   Below are some common points that participants supported.

Working Waterfronts:

  • Play an important role in our nation’s economy;
  • Play an important role in the culture of the nation’s coastal communities;
  • Inherently tied to their geography and natural resources;
  • Land and/or infrastructure facilitate important access to public resources;
  • Once working waterfront land is converted to other uses, it is likely lost forever as a working waterfront;
  • Creative solutions abound and need to be shared

SOBA will continue to stay involved in NWWWS issues and report to the membership as appropriate.

For more details on the conference, and the National Working Waterfront Network, visit the links below.

RBFF Update

Steve Miller, past SOBA President from Wisconsin, will be replacing Wayne Shuyler of Oregon as SOBA’s representative on the Recreational and Boating and Fishing Foundation Board (RBFF). Steve’s appointment begins March 1, 2013 for a three year term and maintains SOBA’s presence on this important partnership foundation. Steve indicates: “RBFF is a very effective mechanism for helping to maintain and increase participation in boating and fishing and I look forward to working with RBFF Board members and continuing my relationship with the SOBA Board.”

SOBA Continues Effort to Thwart the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

The SOBA AIS Task Force continues to assemble information for inclusion in the Aquatic Invasive Species Control Best Management Practices Manual.  As mentioned in earlier updates, this manual includes information on  practical guidance related to AIS Outreach efforts, development of clean, drain, and dry areas for boaters at access sites, incorporation of manned decontamination stations at access sites, development of unmanned decontamination stations at access sites,  operation of watercraft inspection stations, and funding avenues for AIS-related activities.

Given increased workloads on all fronts and the voluntary nature of Task Force member involvement, progress on this document has been slow at times.  However, the addition of Kirsten Barta, Water Access Operations Specialist at Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, has greatly improved the Task Force's ability to assemble this document in a timely manner.  With Kirsten's assistance, we still anticipate having a draft manual pulled together this spring for member review via the List Server.  Additionally, a more cohesive/integrated draft document will presented to SOBA members during a 45-minute general session at the upcoming 2013 National Boating Access Conference.  The Task Force anticipates that presentation of this draft at the 2013 meeting will generate a great deal of interest and comment.  We look forward to your input and integrating your suggestions as we move toward completion of  an AIS BMP Manual.

As mentioned previously, the eventual goal of the SOBA AIS Task Force is to produce a BMP Manual that is endorsed by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) and embraced by boater access/marina development administrators.  For more information on ANSTF and other regional AIS control programs, visit the SOBA website or go to

Update on BIG/CVA/Boating Coordinator Listings

The States Organization of Boating Access (SOBA) is updating the contact lists that include representatives who are responsible for SFR-Boat Access coordination, Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program coordination, Clean Vessel Act (CVA) coordination, managing and coordinating boat access projects, and managing and coordinating boat access programs for your state.  These lists will be used for our ListServ to communicate to members, assist with future emails, and distribution of information such as federal rule changes. 

You may have already received an email for the BIG and CVA lists, and recently an email from me for the Boating Access Coordinator list.  You were ask to review the information listed and confirm with a return email.  Any other person(s) who are also responsible for managing and coordinating your boating access program, can also be added. 

Being active in SOBA has enhanced the success of Florida’s boating access program.  I encourage you, if you are not already involved with SOBA, to become an active SOBA member by attending the annual educational conference, volunteer on a task force or share your expertise by presenting at the educational conference.  If your state or territory is not a member, please review the information on the Web site at and consider requesting that your state become a member.  SOBA dues are eligible for up to 75% reimbursement as part of the education and information expenditures from a USFWS-Boat Access grant.

This year’s annual meeting is in Portland, Oregon from September 30 to October 3 and promises to be informational and educational.  Registration fees are also eligible for up to 75% reimbursement. 

Thank you very much for your assistance, and hope to see you at the annual meeting this year! 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Update, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR)

Greetings and happy Spring!  It is getting to be a beautiful time of year where the ice is melting in some parts of the country and people’s thoughts are turning towards boating.  We hope that you have a busy and productive Spring. 

As you may be aware, the budget process in Congress has meant that sequestration is impacting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs, including those administered by WSFR.  Sequestration impacts each of the programs administered by WSFR.  Most of the programs are able to award fewer grants for less money than would be available if sequestration were avoided or reversed.  There are many thousands of acres that will not be acquired, protected, or managed for the conservation and management of game and non-game species, impacting hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, and general enjoyment of the outdoors by many Americans. 

Additionally, our programs branch staff in Headquarters is operating at a 40 percent vacancy level, and has been for over a year.  They are doing the best they can to support the programs nationally, considering the current circumstances. 

Here are some program updates for the Clean Vessel Act Grants, the National Coastal Wetland Grants, and the Boating Infrastructure Grants: 

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program

  • The announcement of availability and request for applications for the FY 2014 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is posted on (CFDA 15.614). Applications are due by June 28, 2013.
  • The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program awarded more than $20 million in FY 2013 project grants to fund 24 coastal wetland acquisition and restoration projects in 12 states and 1 territory to conserve and restore 4,693 acres of important coastal wetland habitat, including several miles of shoreline.  If sequestration is reversed, we may be able to fund two additional projects that will conserve, protect, and restore an additional 755 acres of coastal wetland habitat.

Clean Vessel Act Grant Program

  • The Service received 31 CVA applications from 23 States and territories for FY 2013 Clean Vessel Act program funds to install, maintain, repair, and operate pump out stations, dump stations, floating restrooms, and pump out boats across the country.  Funds also support education efforts to inform boaters and the public about the benefits of proper disposal of sewage from recreational boats. 
  • The total Federal request for FY 13 grants was $14.76 million, which was the highest request received in several years.  This amount exceeds new money available, but with carryover, we expect to have enough funds to award all eligible requests.  Approximately $16.4 million is available for grants with new money and carryover. 
  • Staff are in the process of scoring and ranking the submitted FY 2013 CVA grant applications, and will send them to NOAA, EPA, and Coast Guard for their review soon thereafter. 
  • In FY 12, the Service funded 34 CVA projects in 24 States with $11.36 million in Federal funds. 

Boating Infrastructure Grant Program

  • The notice of availability and request for applications (2nd opportunity) for the FY 2013 Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (Tier 1, Statewide Competitive and Tier 2, Nationally Competitive) is posted on (CFDA 15.622). Applications are due by May 10, 2013. 
    • This is the first time a 2nd funding opportunity has been posted in a fiscal year for BIG, however, with approximately $6.4 million in available funds after the first round awards, it is a good opportunity to meet the needs of the transient recreational boaters of the nation. 
    • The first round of funds will support $13.5 million to fund 25-Tier 1 and 16-Tier 2 projects across the country to construct, renovate, or maintain boating infrastructure facilities and associated amenities for transient, nontrailerable recreational boats at least 26 feet long.  The Tier 2 projects will contribute approximately 345 new slips, 46 moorings, plus at least 11 other facilities—including restrooms, fuel and pump-out stations, and navigational aids—for the use and enjoyment of the transient nontrailerable recreational boating public. 
    • BIG rulemaking—we will publish an Amended Proposed Rule soon. 

Establishment of the Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Education Grant

SOBA recognizes the challenges that public entities face with constrained budgets and that it has become increasingly difficult for public entities to provide funding for professional development and continuing education.  This Education Grant is established in memory of Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols.  Nick was a leader and promoter of boating access serving SOBA’s membership in a variety of capacities from Board member, to active participant on various SOBA task forces and committees, and as an engaging speaker and presenter at many annual conferences.

The Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Education Grant provides a resource to members who have a desire to further their knowledge and expertise in boating access and related issues through continuing education, are in good standing, and who have made contributions to SOBA in some way.   The Education Grant award is intended to provide the twenty-five percent non-federal match, up to $500.

Education Grants are not funded through any member dues, annual conference registrations, or SOBA membership monies.  The funding for the Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Education Grant will be through donations and annual SOBA Conference Events.  During the 2013 SOBA Conference there will be a silent auction with all proceeds going to the Education Grant.    If you would like to donate an item for the silent auction or have any questions, please contact Janine Belleque or Wayne Shuyler

We anticipate awarding the first Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Education Grant for attendance to the 2014 SOBA Conference in Arkansas.   The Education Grant Committee, consisting of one current Board member, one past Board member and one other active SOBA member, will be established and appointed by the President of SOBA.  The Education Grant Committee member term will be two-years, and members can be reappointed for one additional term.  If you are interested in participating on the Education Grant Committee please contact James Adams at

Details on the Lacy E. “Nick” Nichols Education Grant will be posted on the SOBA web page in the near future.

AMI Update

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) is pleased to announce the dates for next year's International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC): January 29–31, 2014 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. IMBC is the leading marina and boatyard conference and is specifically geared toward marina and boatyard owners, operators, and managers. Mark your calendar and save the dates! Check throughout the year for updates on 2014 plans.

IMI Announces Plans for the 10th Drystack Conference

The International Marina Institute (IMI), a subsidiary of the Association of Marina Industries (AMI) is pleased to announce that its annual fall event will be a Drystack Conference in 2013. Taking place October 27–28 at the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, the Drystack Conference will feature a day and a half of educational seminars, exhibits, and networking receptions. Seminars will primarily focus on the business of drystack storage, current trends, new technologies, and recent and upcoming projects. Look for a call for presentations and exhibitors in the Advocate and your email this spring. Save the dates!

IMI’s annual Southeast Florida Marina and Boatyard Study Tour will follow the Drystack Conference on October 29–30. This will be based out of the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale and will consist of tours of area marinas and  boatyards as well as facilitated discuss on each property. To learn more about the Study Tour, click here. Make plans to stay the week and attend both events!

Vaughn Douglas Memorial Scheduled for May 17

You are warmly invited to celebrate the life and career of Vaughn Douglass and dedicate the Lake Elmore - Vaughn M. Douglass Access Area in Elmore, Vermont on Friday, May 17.  An invitation with details of the event is attached.  If you have any questions or plan to attend, please RSVP to Dan Leahy, (413) 253-8687, or    We look forward to seeing many of you on May 17th.

Update from the Capitol

NMMA, Engine Products Group ask Supreme Court to take up E15 case

The NMMA, as a member of The Engine Products Group, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider a court of appeal’s decision not to hear a case against the Environmental Protection Agency’s allowance of E15, or gas with 15 percent ethanol, in the overall fuel supply.

The petition asks the Supreme Court to reconsider a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in August that none of the parties had standing in the case challenging the EPA’s decision to grant partial waivers approving the sale of gasoline containing E15. The petition asks the Supreme Court to accept the case for review. If the Supreme Court does so, the parties will then ask the court to reverse the appeals court’s ruling and find the parties have the right to challenge the EPA’s partial waiver decisions that allow the sale of E15 for some passenger cars and light trucks, but not older vehicles or in motorcycles, boats and off-road engines.

In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a rehearing on the EPA decision that put fuel with 15 percent ethanol on the market. Dissenting Judge Brett Kavanaugh said the EPA waiver “plainly violates” statutory text, according to court documents filed in January.

The battle over E15 is not just gaining traction in the courts. There has also been legislation introduced on Capitol Hill asking for more studies of the fuel’s effect on engines and a complete review of the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard.

Questions about the legal action? Contact Nicole Vasilaros at or 202-737-9763. For more information on legislation, contact Jim Currie at or 202-737-9760.

NMMA participates in 3rd National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium

Recently, NMMA joined the National Working Waterfronts and Waterways symposium, held over three days in Tacoma Washington. The symposium focuses on increasing conflicts over access to and uses of waterfronts. Across the United States, waterfront communities both large and small are seeking creative solutions to address evolving challenges. During the event, NMMA staff presented at the final session regarding the federal challenges our industry faces, and moderated a panel moderated a panel on federal legislative issues affecting working waterfronts.

Participants discussed a number of issues affecting working waterfronts, including access, particularly for recreational boaters, problems with permitting and burdensome regulations that adversely affect waterfront redevelopment. The group also consulted on community preferences with respect to waterfront redevelopment and revitalization, and issues of financing such projects. NMMA is on the Executive Committee of the National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Network. The Executive Committee will be working to distill the work coming out of Tacoma in a path forward.

To learn more, or for questions, please contact Jeff Gabriel at or 202-737-9776.

New Dredging Bills Signed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

Last week, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill pouring $20.9 million into an emergency dredging program. The money will allow 58 public bays and harbors, used mostly for recreational boating, to be cleared of the sands and sediment that are clogging them and leaving many boats stranded. The dredging is needed to deal with the consequences of record low lake levels in the Great Lakes, especially Lakes Michigan and Huron. The original list cited 49 bays and harbors, but state officials said they are confident that they will have enough money to do all 58 sites. The dredging will be paid for with $11.5 million in general fund dollars, with the rest coming from the Waterways Commission Trust Fund. Read more about the project here. To learn more, or for questions, please contact Jeff Gabriel at or 202-737-9776.

Georgia Senate Passes Safety Legislation

The Georgia Senate unanimously passed SB 136, which would establish mandatory boater education, mandatory life jacket wear for children less than 13 years old, lowers the per se definition of BUI from .10 to .08 blood alcohol level, and prohibits those under 16 years old from operating a PWC without on-board adult supervision. The bill was crafted with the support of the governor, and now goes to the House for hearings and a final vote.  NMMA staff will follow the bill and provide updates as it moves forward. For questions, contact David Dickerson at or 202-737-9761.

Member News: Julie McQuade Becomes New Ohio BIG and CVA Program Coordinator

Ohio is pleased to announce that Julie McQuade has accepted the position as the Federal Aid Coordinator for the BIG and CVA programs for Ohio.  Julie will be administering these programs in addition to her duties as the Capital Improvements Administrator for the Ohio Division of Watercraft.

Julie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Federal Aid Coordinator duties.  We are excited about this opportunity and what Ohio will continue to contribute to recreational boating.

Board of Directors


James Adams
Facilities Director, Infrastructure Division
Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
4010 West Broad Street
P.O. Box 11104
Richmond, VA 23230
T. 804-367-0183

Janine Belleque
Grants and Contracts Coordinator
Boating Facilities Section
Oregon State Marine Board
435 Commercial St. NE
P. O. Box 14145
Salem, OR 97309-5065
T. 503-378-2628

Ron Christofferson
Boating Facilities Program Manager
Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway
Phoenix, Arizona 85086
Office: (623) 236-7481
Fax: (623) 236-7327

Steven W. Miller
Director, Bureau of Facilities and Lands
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921
T. 608-266-5782

Terry Boyd
Chief Engineer
Alabama Dept.of Conservation & Natural Resources
64 North Union Street, Room 479
Montgomery, AL 36104
T. 334-242-3836

Patricia Harrell
Boating Access Coordinator
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Law Enforcement
Boating and Waterways Section, MS1M
620 S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
T. 850-617-9538.

Craig Walker
Aquatic Habitat Coordinator
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
1594 West North Temple, Suite 2110
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6301


Newsletter Editor

Bernice McArdle
SOBA Executive Director
231 S. LaSalle St., Ste. 2050
Chicago, IL 60604
Tel: 312-946-6280
Fax: 312-946-0388

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