NEWS


Senator Tammy Baldwin Awarded 2019 Congressional Award by the States Organization for Boating Access
Washington, D.C., May 28, 2019 — During this past month's American Boating Congress (ABC), the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) presented its annual 2019 Congressional Award to Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

The SOBA Executive Board awards this honor to a member of Congress or State Representative who has made significant contributions to public boating access in the nation.

As a tireless voice for the recreational boating industry, Senator Baldwin has been a dedicated supporter of recreational boating facilities and boating access both in Wisconsin, and during her time on the Hill. She has been a keen advocate for boating and ensuring boaters have clean waters and adequate infrastructure. Senator Baldwin has also been a leader on working waterfront legislation which would plan for future boating access and infrastructure projects as well as protect the economic impact boating has on local communities.
 
FY2019 BIG NOFOs Published
The FY 2019 BIG NOFOs have been published. The funding opportunity number for Tier 1 is F18AS00160 and the funding opportunity number for Tier 2 is F18AS00161. The deadline for submitting applications under these NOFOs is September 10, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PDT. This is on a Monday which will give most applicants a full weekend followed by a full weekday to finalize and submit their applications in case of technical difficulties with grants.gov or other problems. Please note that Grants.gov has now changed over to their Grants.gov Workspace approach to receiving applications. Basically making applications online only.

Congressman Garret Graves (LA-6) and SOBA President Scott Meister
Congressman Garret Graves Honored by SOBA with 2018 Congressional Award
Washington, D.C., May 22, 2018 -- During this month's American Boating Congress (ABC), the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) presented its annual 2018 Congressional Award to Congressman Garret Graves, LA-6.

The SOBA Executive Board awards this honor to a member of Congress or State Representative who has made significant contributions to public boating access in the nation.

Congressman Graves has been a dedicated champion to recreational boating for many years. He plays an important role with regard to ports, waterways, coastal restoration and is vital in supporting the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. Congressman Graves sits on the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Natural Resources. He is the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, which oversees water resources development and regulatory programs administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA, along with other agencies and water-related programs. He has been a strong voice on Capitol Hill for the recreational boating industry, as well as a member of the Congressional Boating Caucus.

"This award is given to members of Congress who have made significant contributions to public boating facility programs in their state or throughout the country," said SOBA's President Scott Meister. "Congressman Graves' work throughout Louisiana echoes SOBA's mission 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 US and its territories."
 

Senator John Thune and Congresswoman Lois Frankel Receive SOBA's 2016 Congressional Awards

May 9 - 11, 2016: Members of the SOBA Executive Board attended the American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C. which included giving a presentation about SOBA during a breakout session, as well as two opportunities to speak during the general assembly about SOBA and specifically about the opportunities provided under the Clean Vessel Act. Board members also presented congressional awards on behalf of SOBA to Senator John Thune (RSD) and Congresswoman Lois Frankel (DFL) for their leadership and support of boating access. Fern Gibbons accepted the award on behalf of Sen. Thune, as seen in the photo on the right. Various congressional offices also were visited to increase awareness of Federal boating access funding sources, and their positive effects across the nation.
 

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

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

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. 

Pictured: Janine Belleque being presented the Robert F. Rittenhouse Award by Director of Government Affairs, Peter Schrappen.

 

SOBA Recognizes Rep. Frank LoBiondo for Commitment to Boating Access
LoBiondo awarded for playing 'instrumental role' in protecting public boating programs


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.

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.
 

Left to Right: SOBA Executive
Director Libby Yranski,
Senator Tim Scott, SOBA
Vice President Scott Meister
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2017 -- During last week's American Boating Congress (ABC), the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) presented its annual 2017 Congressional Award to Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

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. 

Senator Scott has been a dedicated champion to recreational boating for many years. He has been a voice for the recreational boating industry on Capitol Hill, as well as a member of the Congressional Boating Caucus. This award was presented for his "Strong Leadership in Conservation, Promoting Boating Access, Supporting Recreational Boating Facilities and Boating Opportunities in the State of South Carolina and Nationwide."

"It was an incredible honor to have been recognized by the States Organization for Boating Access," Said Senator Scott. "Thank you for all you do in helping to promote safety for our recreational boaters by ensuring they have access to some of our nation's waterways. South Carolinians are able to better enjoy our amazing coastline and bodies of water because of the work your team continues to do."



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