NEWS

June 9th, 2015 – Chicago, IL – CONGRESSMAN ROB WITTMAN 2015 RECIPIENT OF SOBA’S (STATES ORGANIZATION FOR BOATING ACCESS) CONGRESSIONAL AWARD
 

On May 12, 2015, at the American Boating Congress in Washington DC, the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA), presented its 2015 Congressional Award to Congressman Rob Wittman.
 
The SOBA Executive Board awards this honor annually to a member of Congress or State Representative who has made significant contributions to public boating access in the nation. 
 
Over the years, Congressman Wittman has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment as a pragmatic conservationist and a true supporter of recreational boating and boating access.   This award was presented for his “Strong leadership in conservation, for promoting Boating Access and Boating Opportunities in the State of Virginia and Nationwide, and for his commitment to and support of the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization and the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund”.
 
Some past recipients include: Congressman Bill Shuster, PA, Senator James Inhofe, OK, Congresswoman Candice Miller, MI and Senator Bill Nelson, FL

Left to Right: Congressman Rob Wittman
and James Adams, SOBA Past President

ABOUT SOBA:  SOBA is an organization devoted to the acquisition, development and administration of public recreational boating facilities nationwide.  SOBA encourages, promotes and supports federal and state programs that provide safe, high-quality and environmentally sound public recreational boating access to the waterways of the United States and its territories.  The group also provides a forum for the exchange of views, ideas, concepts and experiences related to all aspects of recreational boating.

 
November 12, 2014 – SOBA President Janine Belleque awarded with the prestigious Robert F. Rittenhouse Award by the NW Marine Trade Association during their annual meeting in Seattle on November 12, 2014.
 
The NW Marine Trade Association recently recognized the efforts of the Oregon Marine Board’s Janine Belleque, with the Robert F. Rittenhouse Award during their annual meeting in Seattle on November 12, 2014.  This regional award is given to a person from Oregon in the boating industry who has made a significant contribution to recreational boating during the past year. 

 

For more than two decades, Belleque has worked tirelessly for Oregon boaters, helping provide grant funding to waterway managers for boating facility development and renovation; expanding a Maintenance Assistance Program to enhance existing levels of maintenance at boating facilities; working with waterway managers and boaters on waterway and boating access planning efforts; and advocating for all recreational boaters.  Belleque is well-versed in local, regional and national issues relating to planning, permitting, constructing and funding boat access. Belleque is currently serving in her second term as the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) President and filling the role of Interim Boating Facilities Section Manager, in addition to her primary role as the Marine Board’s Grants and Contracts Coordinator.  Belleque also serves on a multitude of Marine Board advisory committees to help with future agency initiatives that integrate all boating user groups.  

Belleque was completely surprised to receive such a prestigious award, “I feel very honored and humbled to receive this recognition and look forward to serving recreational boaters for many more years.

Background: Robert F. Rittenhouse was appointed Marine Director to the Oregon State Marine Board when the board was first formed in 1959. Rittenhouse served for 27 years with the U.S. Coast Guard, which gave him a knowledge of boating matters that appealed to the state as it began interviewing candidates. The Oregon State Marine Board was founded and is to this day supported by Oregon State recreational boaters for the purpose of overseeing boating safety programs and developing boating access. Rittenhouse served as Director from August, 1959 until he died on September 2, 1973.
 
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Pictured: Janine Belleque being presented the Robert F. Rittenhouse Award by Director of Government Affairs, Peter Schrappen.


FINAL RULE REMOVING LIFE JACKET TYPE CODES FROM US COAST GUARD REGULATIONS:
The Final Rule removing life jacket type codes from USCG regulations was published on Monday September 22nd, 2014 - please review the "preview" copy, made available by the Office of Federal Register, HERE


 States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) Presents Special Awards at 2013 Annual Conference
Individual and project-based honors were given during the
Annual Conference’s gala dinner

 
Chicago, IL., October 28, 2013 – The States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) recently presented a number of individual and project-based awards during its annual conference, held this year in Portland, Oregon from Monday, September 30 through Thursday, October 3, 2013. Honorees include individuals, agencies and organizations that have continually worked to promote boating access and provide better boating experiences for state residents and tourists.
 
Wayne Shuyler, Boating Facilities Section Manager/Deputy Director with the Oregon State Marine Board, received the highest honor that SOBA bestows each year, the William Ivers Award. It 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. Shuyler has been involved in parks and recreation for nearly 40 years, working for three state governments in Missouri, Arizona and Oregon. He has also been active with SOBA since 2004 serving on the Executive Board in 2006 as a Member-At-Large, to the Treasurer position in 2008, VP in 2009, President in 2010 and Past-President in 2011.
 
Doug Hobbs, US Fish and Wildlife staff serving as the Designated Federal Officer for the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council received the Outstanding Service Award for his contributions to improve access on our nation’s public waters for boaters and anglers. Hobbs’ advocacy for boater access to the water, coupled with his understanding of the important role that state boating access programs play, has helped raise the stature of SOBA as a professional organization.
 
Julie McQuade was given the Professional Service Award, noting her ongoing efforts on behalf of SOBA’s mission. This work includes her 16 years as a SOBA member, Executive Board Member and Past President, and her work as the Grant Coordinator in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Watercraft Division, resulting in 180 boating access projects investing over $40 million.
 
Joyce Johnson, Special Assistant for Program Analysis and Development for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program received the Special Recognition Award, horning efforts that are directly illustrative or supportive of SOBA’s mission. Johnson has worked to address a wide range of issues associated with the administration of Federal grant programs which distribute over $1 billion annually to state and local governments for recreation and natural resources conservation purposes.
 
Project-based awards were also given during the ceremony, honoring organizations that promote state boating access, innovation and environmental achievements. The State Boating Access Program Excellence Award was presented to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources: Wildlife Resources Division, for their significant work towards boat access development, and their outstanding service to residents and visitors to the state. In addition, the State Clean Vessel Act (CVA) Program Excellence Award was presented to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, for their stewardship of the State CVA program, serving the overall state community residents and visitors to the state.
 
Four categories of Outstanding Project Awards were also given to agencies or organizations involved in boating access projects that are of high quality, innovative, unique and economical. This year’s recipients are as follows:
 

  • Outstanding Projects – Small Access
    Harold & Sid Nichols Park Boating Facility Development, City of Winston, Oregon
  • Outstanding Projects – Medium Access
    Pena Blanca Lake Boating Access Renovation: Arizona Game and Fish Department
  • Outstanding Projects – Large Access
    M. James Gleason Boating Facility/Metro Parks and Environmental Services, Oregon
  • Marina and Harbors
    Keegan Clair Docks – City of Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

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About SOBA: An organization devoted to the acquisition, development and administration of public recreational boating facilities nationwide. SOBA provides a forum for the exchange of views, ideas, concepts and experiences related to all aspects of recreational boating facilities. As a voice supporting the need for recreational boating facilities nationwide, SOBA strives to provide a medium for the exchange of views and experiences that will foster private, interstate, and federal-state cooperation and coordination in boating facility design, construction, and financing. For more information visit http://www.sobaus.org/.
 


Lake Elmore Access Area Renamed after Morrisville, Vermont Native Vaughn Douglass

Boaters and anglers on Lake Elmore in Elmore, Vermont, will see a new name on the access area sign starting in May, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  The Lake Elmore – Vaughn M. Douglass Access Area was renamed in honor of the Morrisville native and Lake Elmore camp owner who passed away in September.  

Douglass retired in July 2012 from his position as lands and development program chief in the Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration after serving with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 33 years.  
 
A leader in the regional Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program, Douglass mentored many employees in both state and federal agencies.  He made a significant contribution to access areas in the Northeastern United States through his oversight of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Division of Federal Aid program.  
 
“Vaughn’s assistance to Vermont Fish & Wildlife staff was extremely valuable. He contributed a great deal to the development of many of Vermont’s programs,” said Vermont Fisheries Division Director Eric Palmer.  “Most notably, he was instrumental in developing the department’s successful boating access area program.”  For these efforts, Vaughn received numerous recognitions, including a Certificate of Appreciation from the States Organization for Boating Access and the Department of Interior’s Meritorious Service Award.  
 
"In light of his conservation accomplishments, public access initiatives, and the professionalism he displayed, it is very fitting that Vermont, his home state, honor him with this recognition," said Palmer.
 
On Friday, May 17th, the Department jointly hosted a dedication with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to formally recognize Mr. Douglass and his contributions to the conservation and the public.  The event was held at the public access on Lake Elmore where Department Commissioner, Patrick Berry, and officials from the Service, including Regional Director Wendy Weber, spoke at the ceremony.


SOBA Recognizes Rep. Frank LoBiondo for Commitment to Boating Access

LoBiondo awarded for playing ‘instrumental role’ in protecting public boating programs



Washington, D.C. May 8th, 2013 – As hundreds of boating advocates from across the country visit Washington for the American Boating Congress, the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) recognized Rep. Frank LoBiondo (N.J. 2nd Congressional District) with its annual congressional award. Given to a member of congress or elected state official who has contributed significantly to boating recreation andaccess in the United States, Rep. LoBiondo was selected to honor his work in protecting the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Safety Fund throughout the 112th Congress.

"Rep. LoBiondo has played an instrumental role in the preservation of boating access and safety, not only in New Jersey, but throughout the United States," said SOBA President James Adams, who joined SOBA Vice President Janine Belleque in presenting the award. "As an organization that represents everyday Americans who care about the future of boating, we are proud to count him as a friend and ally."

Established in 1986, SOBA provides a forum for the exchange of views and ideas related to all aspects of recreational boating facilities. With membership in all 50 states SOBA encourages, promotes and supports programs that provide high-quality public recreational boat access to the waterways of the United States and its territories.


AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS
Salazar Announces Grants to Boost Recreational Boating in 10 States

Infrastructure projects provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, create jobs
Date: January 25, 2012

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced more than $7.5 million in competitive grants to 10 states for 11 projects to support recreational boating through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant program.

“Recreational boaters and anglers contribute to our nation’s thriving outdoor recreation economy and play an important role in conservation of our rivers, watersheds and oceans,” Secretary Salazar said. “These competitive grants will help provide quality opportunities and access to America’s great outdoors for our nation’s boaters and anglers, while creating jobs by funding major construction projects to build docks, boat slips and facilities.”

Outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing, contribute an estimated $730 million to the U.S. economy each year, Salazar noted.

The Service will also release approximately $2.5 million to 26 states, commonwealths, and territories willing to match a smaller, non-competitive grant program known as “BIG Tier 1” funding.

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

Funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which boaters and manufacturers support through excise and other taxes on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat fuel.

The 11 projects receiving the competitive grants include:

The Docks at Manderson Landing, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management will partner with the University of Alabama to construct a floating dock with eight handicap accessible slips, a pumpout, dockside electric service, a pedestrian access ramp, retaining wall, and a gangway ramp providing ADA accessibility for transient non-trailerable recreation boaters.
BIG Grant: $ 199,568
Non-Federal Match: $ 368,000
Total Project Cost: $ 567,568

Rockwater Marina, North Little Rock, Arkansas
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will partner with LAD, LLC, MariCorp U.S., LLC, the City of North Little Rock, the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau and the Arkansas Department of Health to create 25 transient slips and fuel services for recreational vessels up to 70 feet long at Rockwater Marina.
BIG Grant: $ 1,028,425
Non-Federal Match: $ 578,489
Total Project Cost: $ 1,606,914

Slidell Municipal Marina at Heritage Park, Slidell, Louisiana
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will partner with the City of Slidell to renovate existing bulkheads, construct 42 additional floating lay along docking spaces, and install safe walkways for boaters to access the park and downtown area at its current Heritage Park location.
BIG Grant: $ 1,500,000
Non-Federal Match: $ 1,001,000
Total Project Cost: $ 2,501,000

Garrison Bight Marina Transient Dock, Key West, Florida
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will partner with the City of Key West to replace the transient dock restroom, bathhouse, laundry facilities and electric wiring at the Garrison Bight Marina.
BIG Grant: $ 500,000
Non-Federal Match: $ 400,000
Total Project Cost: $ 900,000

St. Pete Beach Transient Docks, St. Pete Beach, Florida
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will partner with the City of St. Pete Beach to construct 12 new transient boat slips. Electrical, water, and pumpout utilities will be provided.
BIG Grant: $ 219,750
Non-Federal Match: $ 91,285
Total Project Cost: $ 311,035

J. P. Coleman State Park, Iuka, Mississippi
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks will partner with Tishomingo County Board of Supervisors, the Tishomingo County Development Foundation and The Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to construct 20 transient boating slips at the J. P. Coleman State Park marina.
BIG Grant: $ 802,560
Non-Federal Match: $ 451,440
Total Project Cost: $ 1,254,000

Wethersfield Cove Marina, Wethersfield, Connecticut
The State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will partner with the Town of Wethersfield to construct a transient boat marina, consisting of seven transient slips and 51 moorings designated for the use of transient, non-trailerable recreational vessels.
BIG Grant: $ 494,650
Non-Federal Match: $ 298,400
Total Project Cost: $ 793,050

Market Pier Docks, Washington, DC
The District of Columbia, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development will partner with the private development team of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront, LLC for the redevelopment efforts of the District's Southwest Waterfront. The project includes the construction of 54 transient slips with ADA accessibility.
BIG Grant: $ 1,423,110
Non-Federal Match: $ 1,423,111
Total Project Cost: $ 2,846,221

Gratwick Park Marina, New York
The New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will partner with the City of North Tonawanda and the Lumber City Development Corporation to install new transient docks with utilities, replace bulkheads and provide a landside restroom.
BIG Grant: $ 686,919
Non-Federal Match: $ 241,350
Total Project Cost: $ 928,269

SouthSide Works Marina, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will partner with the City of Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority, in collaboration with the Soffer Organization and Fox Chapel Sea Ray Inc. to construct 16 transient boat slips and other transient amenities and services adjacent to the South Shore Riverfront Park on the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh.
BIG Grant: $ 405,377
Non-Federal Match: $ 238,079
Total Project Cost: $ 643,456

Oyster Point, San Mateo County, California
The California Department of Boating and Waterways will partner with the San Mateo County Harbor District to replace an existing 156-feet long transient dock with a wider transient dock of the same length, with upgraded electrical service and new gangway.
BIG Grant: $ 250,000
Non-Federal Match: $ 350,000
Total Project Cost: $ 600,000

 

 

UW-Madison's Department of Engineering Professional Development Announces
New Docks and Marinas Short Course

AUGUST 8, 2011: MADISON, Wisconsin.­The University of Wisconsin-Madison is pleased to announce a new offering in its line of Docks and Marinas Courses: “Rehabilitating Docks and Marina Facilities," to be held October 10–11, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. This course is designed for consulting engineers, marina designers, operators, and managers interested in rehabilitating existing facilities to extend useful life and/or increasing profitability.

This new two-day class will focus on:
· Evaluating existing marina facilities
· Planning & scheduling rehabilitation projects
· Implementing specific marina rehabilitation projects

This course will take you through the steps necessary to determine the cost and benefit of rehabilitating existing marina facilities. Attendees will learn how best to plan and schedule dock and marina rehabilitation projects. The course will specifically address technical aspects of the rehabilitation of basin protection, utilities, floating and fixed docks and landside facilities.

In addition to this new course, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will present, for the 37th consecutive year, the Docks and Marinas Class, December 1–2, 2011. This nationally and internationally recognized program provides members of the marina industry with the latest technical information. Engineers, designers, and developers, as well as marina owner/operators, will learn about the latest innovations and practical techniques from leaders in the field.

As a member of SOBA, you are entitled to receive a $100 discount when you enroll in any of the Docks and Marinas Courses.

Click on this link ( epd.engr.wisc.edu/2011SOBA) for more details.
For general information on University of Wisconsin-Madison Docks and Marinas courses visit: http://epd.engr.wisc.edu/docksmarinas


KEEPING BOATING SUSTAINABLE
 
In their August 2011 edition, Great Lakes Boating featured a story on Keeping Boating Sustainable, penned by Lisa Van Alstyne, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Click here to access a copy of this editorial.  This article is reproduced with kind permission from Great Lakes Boating magazine.

SERVICE ASKS WILDLIFE ENTHUSIASTS TO SUPPORT NATIONAL SURVEY

The 12th National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (FHWAR) starts April 1. This important survey is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Service appreciates the anglers, hunters, birdwatchers, and other citizens throughout the country who participate in the survey when contacted by the Census Bureau. The survey results help wildlife and natural resource managers quantify how much Americans value wildlife resources in terms of participation and expenditures.

The last survey revealed that 87.5 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older, 38% of the population, participated in wildlife-related recreation activities. These recreationists spent over $122 billion pursuing their activities.

Participation is totally voluntary and all responses are strictly confidential. Data collected is used for statistical purposes only and no participant can be identified from information contained in the database and follow-up reports.

The reports of previous surveys are posted at http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov. The 2011 survey reports will start being posted in the spring of 2012.


SOBA RECOGNIZES FIVE STATES AND THREE INDIVIDUALS WITH OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Each year SOBA provides the opportunity for the boating access community to nominate projects, individuals and state agencies for national recognition. These awards are presented annually at the National Boating Access Conference, sponsored by SOBA.


Click Here to access our winners and award recipients for 2010.


To view 2010 Awards press release, click here



WSFR BASIC GRANTS MANAGEMENT COURSE: STATE COORDINATORS ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND

This course provides a basic overview of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program's grant management process. Emphasis is placed on knowledge and use of the Service manual and associated regulations, rules and supplemental documents. Participants work individually and in small groups to develop and process a basic grant package and evaluate a variety of grant types using case studies.

Click here for enrollment form and more information



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AMI AND SOBA JOIN FORCES TO HELP IMPROVE WATER ACCESS FOR BOATERS

RHODE ISLAND/CHICAGO: – November 10, 2010 – The Association Of Marina Industries (AMI) and the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster mutual cooperation and collaboration that will enhance the services available to members of both organizations and allow the organizations to more effectively carry out their respective missions.

AMI and SOBA have an underlying goal of easing the means by which boaters can access the waterways throughout the U.S., and of preserving that access. With similar goals and resources the groups decided to formalize their joint efforts with the MOU.

AMI Chairman Jim Frye stated, “Over the years AMI has worked with SOBA and has been aware of the tremendous work they’ve done for the boating industry so it made sense to formalize a partnership and create a means to better work together. AMI is excited about the opportunities that can come from working more closely with our states’ agencies.”

James Adams, President of SOBA, also commented, "I am pleased with the signing of this MOU between AMI and SOBA and grateful for the leadership of SOBA past president Wayne Shuyler and AMI representative Wendy Larimer as they navigated this partnership. Over the next year we will support each other for the benefit of our members and provide technical support to each organization’s mission. We will immediately begin to work alongside AMI fostering a productive relationship to address common issues as a larger team."

About Association of Marina Industries: AMI is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of the marina industry.

About States Organization for Boating Access: SOBA is a national, non-profit membership organization devoted to the acquisition, development and administration of public recreational boating access facilities nationwide.

States Organization for Boating Access, 231 S. LaSalle St., Ste 2050, Chicago, IL 60604
Association of Marina Industries, 50 Water Street, Warren, RI 02885


For Further Information Contact:

Wendy Larimer, Legislative Coordinator, AMI: wlarimer@lighthousecg.com – 202-350-9623
Bernice McArdle, SOBA Executive Director: bmcardle@nmma.org or 312-946-6280





June, 2010 - Topline Results of SOBA Member Survey Conducted March 2010

In June 2010, SOBA's Executive Board of Directors (For current Board listing, click here) engaged in a day-long strategic planning meeting in Mobile AL - host site of our 2012 conference. The goal of this meeting was to examine in detail the results of the member survey (May 2010), review and discuss potential future challenges and opportunities, and develop a thorough, detailed strategic plan driven by member feedback and input.

The SOBA board is currently developing a Draft Plan from the output notes of the Strategic Planning meeting, and this document will be shared with members in advance of our annual National Boating Access Conference later this year in Park City (October 18-21). Click here to download conference details and registration form. Members will be given the chance to provide feedback before the plan is finalized and distributed.

For your information, topline results from this member survey are included here. Click here to link directly to survey results. Thank you for your continued interest and support of SOBA. We look forward to seeing you October in Park City for our 2010 conference, and meanwhile, we welcome your questions, suggestions and feedback. You can send comments to info@sobaus.org or call us at 312-946-6283.

Wayne Shuyler
SOBA President


May, 2010 - National association honors Congresswoman Pingree for "preserving access" to waterfronts
The States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA), an association of state government officials concerned with the protection and expansion of boating access, honored Congresswoman Chellie Pingree today with their 2010 Congressional Award for her work to save working waterfronts.
"Congresswoman Pingree is among the greatest champions of recreational boating access in the U.S. Congress, from her Working Waterfronts legislation to her on-the-ground efforts in Maine," said SOBA President Wayne Shuyler. "Her efforts help protect the jobs created by the boating industry and and SOBA is thrilled and honored to present Congresswoman Pingree with this Congressional Water Access Award on behalf of all boaters."
SOBA cited a bill Pingree wrote to preserve working waterfronts and access to waterfronts for fishermen and recreational boaters.
“In Maine our waterfronts are not just part of our heritage, they are a fundamental part of our economy,” Pingree said. “They are the source of jobs and if we lose access to the waterfront, those jobs will disappear.”
Pingree’s bill, the “Keep America’s Waterfront Working Act,” would create a federal grant program to acquire working piers and other points of waterfront access and provide funding for waterfront planning. The program is designed to allow states and local communities to support and protect places along the coast where commercial fishermen, boat builders, excursion and tour boat operators and other small businesses operate.
Click here to view press release on Pingree's homepage.

May, 2008 - Senator Herbert Kohl Receives 2008 SOBA Congressional Award

A Window of Opportunity
Today's economic conditions, under which many marine businesses are struggling, may make it difficult to look beyond the present moment. However, those who make the effort to consider and plan for the future will likely find several paths to success they can begin walking today.

One such path is that of preserving and growing water access. While the decline in the housing market has had a negative impact on boat sales, it has had a positive impact on water access. The demand for residential waterfront development has lessened in popular boating communities in Florida and California, for example, making marinas and boatyards a more desirable option for developers.

This is a window of opportunity for the industry in its quest to provide an affordable, hassle-free boating experience to today's and tomorrow's boaters - one you can't afford to pass up. That's why you should download Boating Industry's Water Access White Paper published in partnership with ValvTect Marine Fuel. This free publication provides expert tips, advice and best practices designed to help you achieve real results in securing the future of your business and the boating industry.

Liz Walz
Senior Editor
Boating Industry
Trusted Source. Proven Solutions. Real Results.

SOBA AND NASBLA SIGN MOU

On September 10, 2007 during the NASBLA Annual Conference, Jeffery Johnson (pictured on left), 2007 President of NASBLA, and Ed Poolos (pictured on right), then Vice President of SOBA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This is an excellent opportunity for SOBA to align itself more strategically with NASBLA and their activities. The MOU states that each group shall work to support each other’s respective missions:

SOBA's mission is to encourage, promote and support federal and state programs that provide safe, high-quality and environmentally sound public recreational boat access to the waterways of the United States and its territories.

The States Organization for Boating Access accomplishes its mission by:
• Providing strong and effective national leadership for the planning, funding, design, construction, operation and maintenance of boat access facilities;
• Creating and maintaining a national forum for the exchange of information relative to recreational boat access;
• Encouraging cooperation between and forging partnerships with; federal, state, local and private entities in the provision, design and operating of boat access facilities; and
• Working to influence federal, state and local legislation on recreational boat access issues NASBLA 's mission is to strengthen the ability of the state and territorial boating authorities to reduce death, injury and property damage associated with recreational boating and ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable boating environment.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators accomplishes its mission by:
• Providing national leadership and advocacy to focus policies and resources on reducing risks in recreational boating and in waterway security;
• Providing models and standards that foster best practices and uniformity among the states and territories;
• Providing professional development opportunities and other products and services that benefit members; and
• Identifying and employing the highest professional standards and best practices in governing, administering and measuring the performance of the association.

Click here to read the signed MOU.

Clean Vessel Act (CVA) Survey Results Now Available
In September of 2006, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall requested the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council to lead a review of the Service’s Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grant program. This review would be the first systematic review in the 16 years the program has been in existence. In support of this review, SOBA was requested to conduct a survey of state CVA coordinators. This survey allowed the 34 state coordinators that participated the opportunity to provide the review team with valuable information as well as allowing them an opportunity to provide comments pertaining to the entire program review. Below are the numerical results of the survey.

Click here to view results.

Senators Boxer and Nelson Commit to Fixing Ballast Water Permitting Issue

Congressman Oberstar Receives SOBA Congressional Award

National Forum to Address Water Access Issues Local government officials, coastal management planners, legal scholars and boating industry representatives will gather in Norfolk, Virginia next May to explore solutions to the loss of water access that is hindering recreational boaters, commercial fishermen and water-dependent businesses around the nation's coasts. READ MORE.

Boating Access Promotion Media Package Here you'll find great ideas and tools for you to use in announcing your latest accomplishments to those who'd really like to know, especially elected officials responsible for securing funding for your project and potential guests of your newly constructed or renovated boat launching facility. READ MORE

Boating Access Inventory An assessment of current and future needs regarding boating and fishing access. READ MORE



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