Page 21 - Mid America Boating - August 2021 issue
P. 21

Sport Fish

      Restoration,                                                                                                                                          21

      Recreational Boating
      Safety, and Wildlife

      Restoration Act

      adapts to the future                                                                                                                                  [     MID-AMERICA BOATING

      Recently-introduced bill earns
      bipartisan support

        A bill introduced in June that provides crit-
      ical funding for conservation, fisheries
      research, habitat restoration, and recreation-
      al boating access and safety also offers new
      provisions to help meet the future needs of  The Port of Rochester, New York, received a $1.5 million Boating Infrastructure Grant
      anglers and boaters. The Sport Fish   to help turn a parking lot into a transient marina.                                                             ]     AUGUST 2021
      Restoration, Recreational Boating Safety, and
      Wildlife Restoration Act (H.R. 3702) aims to  Wildlife Service more flexibility to effectively  cess,” said BoatUS Manager of Government
      reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and  administer the Sport Fish Restoration fund  Affairs David Kennedy. “It continues to sup-
      Boating Safety Trust Fund, one of the most  programs, such as the Boating Infrastructure  port infrastructure grants, the Clean Vessel
      successful “user pay – public benefits” feder-  Grant (BIG) program that grows the availabil-  Act, and U.S. Coast Guard and local boating
      al funding programs that relies on excise  ity of safe and protected harborage for tran-  safety programs. However, it also addresses
      taxes paid on fishing and boating equipment  sient boaters.                 some new challenges we face as more folks
      as well as motorboat fuel taxes to support  The nation’s advocacy, services and safety  head to the water, such as what to do with
      angling and boating programs.         group for recreational boat owners, Boat  end-of-life-cycle recreational vessels and how
        Of several new provisions to the bill, the  Owners Association of The United States  to equitably fund waterway access points. We
      first is an effort to address the derelict vessel  (BoatUS), thanks bill sponsor Rep. Debbie  look forward to its passage.”
      challenge which also includes the promotion  Dingel (D-MI) and Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA)  Since its enactment in 1950, the Trust Fund
      of boat recycling programs. The second is to  for introducing the legislation, and Sen.  has provided more than $38 billion in funding
      examine the growing use of nonmotorized  Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. Roger Wicker  for state-based conservation programs, recre-
      vessels on all types of waterway access and  (R-MS) for the companion bill S.1995. The  ational boating access and safety, aquatic
      the resultant user conflicts and potential for  legislation is anticipated to be incorporated  resources education, and fisheries manage-
      increased boating accidents and fatalities.  into a larger transportation bill.  ment and restoration. MAB
        The bill also gives the U.S. Fish and  “H.R. 3702 builds on many years of suc-
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