Angling and Boating Alliance (ABA)
The Angling and Boating Alliance (ABA), of which SOBA is a member, is an ad hoc coalition of national recreational boating, angling, outdoor recreation organizations, conservation groups, and state boating safety and natural resources agencies committed to the sustainable future of the SFRBTF. The ABA was created to find consensus and promote the reauthorization to Congress.
On December 1, 2016 Congressional conferees reached a 5-year agreement to operate and fund national highway and surface transportation. The conference agreement cleared the House and Senate on December 3, and President Obama signed it into law on December 4.Unlike patchwork bills seen in the past few years, the agreement, called the FAST Act, is fully funded at $305 billion, passing just days before its expiration date. ABA prevailed in securing funding of approximately $600 million per year for the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. However, the Clean Vessel Grant and the Boating Infrastructure Grant percentages were combined together as 4% of the overall fund, instead of their previous 2% each.
The SOBA Board submitted a letter to Bob Curry, Deputy Assistant Director for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program regarding the implementation of Clean Vessel Act (CVA) and boating infrastructure grants (BIG) funds. These funds were combined through legislative language found in the Fixing America’s Surface and Transportation (FAST) Act which reauthorized the Sport Fish and Boating Restoration Trust Fund. Prior to the FAST Act CVA and BIG were allocated 2% each of the overall trust fund, with the implantation of the FAST Act they will receive 4% for both programs. The SOBA Board expressed their concern with the combination of these funds and how state agencies will manage these programs. To read the full letter, please click here.