NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com/PressRoom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act Signed by President Obama
Includes funds for Everglades restoration
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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 19, 2016 – BoatUS, the nation’s advocate for boat owners, applauds passage of a bipartisan bill signed by President Obama on December 16 that will provide critical funds for water-resource infrastructure projects at emerging harbors, channels, locks and dams. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), which encompasses the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation of 2016, authorizes the needed investment in the maritime and waterways transportation system and provides flood protection for communities.
Boaters will like the bill as it supports waterway-access projects, navigation and fisheries improvements, and provides maintenance funds for harbors of refuge. It also creates a pilot program to look at beneficial uses of dredge material in hopes of lowering costs, and funds the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for Everglades restoration, among other projects.
“Like a highway bill for boaters, passage of the WIIN/WRDA is great news for American boaters,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy. “With the renewed attention to the nation’s infrastructure, BoatUS thanks Congress and the President for acting to keep our waterways open and channels clear.”
According to a statement released by the House Transportation Committee, the WIIN/WRDA also aims to cut red tape by requiring more timely approvals, accelerates the permit process on non-federal modifications to USACE projects, and bolsters local participation in construction and maintenance of water infrastructure. “These infrastructure improvements have been proposed at the local level in cooperation and consultation with the Corps, and have national economic and environmental benefits,” said the statement.
In addition to BoatUS, the bill had the support of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Ducks Unlimited, the US Chamber of Commerce, Marine Retailers Association of America, American Sportfishing Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, and American Waterways Operators.
For the bill’s summary and text, go to http://transportation.house.gov/wrda-2016/.
About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):
Celebrating 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. On the water, TowBoatUS brings boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com