Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund
I call your attention to several documents from the Angling and Boating Alliance (ABA) regarding reauthorization of the Sport Fishing and Boating Safety Trust Fund (SFR). The documents for your careful review are:
- ABA Coordinated Statement on Reauthorization;
- Supplementary Notes regarding the Statement;
- A spreadsheet that compares how the 2013 receipts of $595,601,823 would be distributed under the current allocation method and the distribution of funds using the ABA proposal; and
- ABA developed handout document that details accomplishments from Trust Fund dollars.
There are several changes in the ABA position that I want to specifically point out regarding Boating Access, CVA and BIG funding. The ABA position will provide States with an increase in SFR distribution and both CVA and BIG will receive an increased apportionment; also the position provides for CVA funds to be spent on a specific set of capital improvement and infrastructure projects to support facilities that meet state permit requirements for minimizing the introduction of pollutants into the waterways, such as: power washdown stations at ingresses to water bodies, including marinas, containment and treatment stations at marinas, and other such infrastructure projects.
The ABA position also changes the Coastal Wetlands distribution decreasing funds to correct the historical imbalance between the amount of receipts from the small engine gas tax and past years of Coastal Wetlands distribution which exceeded the small engine gas tax ($208 million since 2001 and over $257 since inception of this provision).
Another provision is that this position will provide a direct way for SOBA to seek grant funding for certain strategic initiatives that will benefit SOBA’s mission, and its members. This provision states: “In recognition of the importance of ensuring recreational angling and boating access to waterways and the need to have a coordinated approach to water access, the Alliance agrees that up to $300,000 from the 15% allocation for angling and boating access under the Sport Fish Restoration account should be made available, subject to a competitive bidding process, for non-profit entities to address specific access concerns
The spreadsheet that compares how 2013 trust fund receipts are distributed does not account for sequestration and is a straightforward calculation comparison. As being the SOBA representative on the ABA, I must clearly convey to you that this alliance of boating and fishing stakeholders were very thoughtful, deliberate and respectful of coalition and federal partners as the ABA position was being developed. I am very proud to have been included in this effort. As you might know, the reauthorization process is embedded in the Transportation Bill in Congress, and will be addressed through the various Committees in the upcoming months. ABA members will be working hard with Congress in support of this position which will be challenging.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
James Adams, SOBA Executive Board and Past President