Standing Up For Boating
1. Donít make unrealistic assumptions.
2. Never assume
that a government agency related to boating is staffed by people who are
familiar with boating. Sometimes staffing is excellent, but sometimes they
donít have a clue. Watch whatís going on in your community, go to hearings, and courteously try to help when needed.
3. Donít assume that a boating industry organization is going to look out for your interests as a boater. There are some notable cases where industry organizations have and are now trying to help the person out on the water, but we must remember their membership may have different priorities from those of the end user out on the water. We should work with these groups, but not just sit back and assume that their agenda is the same as ours. Thatís just one reason why BoatUS is so important.
4. When going
to hearings or meetings, be prepared to patiently explain some of the most
basic fundamentals of boating to people who donít know about them and havenít considered them. For example: a boat canít always just ďstop and waitĒ in the water like a car can on a highway.
5. Write well
reasoned letters to politicians and officials. Weigh in.
the Email Concerning the Permit System:
July 23, 2007
Dear BoatUS Member,
For 34 years the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has exempted
discharges from recreational boats from the Clean Water Act permit system.
Regretfully, a recent court ruling cancelled this permit exemption. EPA is
required by the court decision to develop and implement by September 30, 2008
a national permit system for ALL vessels in the United States for a variety
of normal operational discharges.
We have been working behind the scenes with other boating organizations to
get the exemption reinstated for recreational boats. Fortunately, the Recreational
Boating Act of 2007 (H.R. 2550) has been introduced by Representatives Gene
Taylor (D-Miss) and Candice Miller (R-Mich) which would protect recreational
boats from being swept into this unnecessary and expensive permitting system.
It is critically important that H.R. 2550 be passed and your support is essential.
Please contact your Congressman and Senators TODAY and ask that they co-sponsor
or support H.R. 2550.
If the permit system becomes a reality, you will be required to pay for a state
permit for each of your boats. EPA will be monitoring your deck runoff, grey
water, bilge water, engine cooling water, and the use of copper bottom paints.
The original lawsuit that led to this court decision sought to address ballast
water discharges from large ocean-going ships, which can introduce damaging
aquatic invasive species into U.S. waters. Keeping our waterways clean and
preventing the spread of invasive species is of utmost importance to the future
of boating. But taking a complex permitting system designed for industrial
dischargers and applying it to recreational boats will not yield significant
environmental benefits and it will come at a very high cost. Requiring recreational
boaters to purchase a permit would not prevent the spread of invasive species.
BoatUS has been a leader in educating boaters about Clean Boating practices
for more than a decade. Our nonprofit Foundation has funded local education
projects on invasive species prevention, helped develop voluntary Clean Marina
programs, and authored much of the country's Clean Boating outreach. These
positive education efforts are making a difference.
Please ask your elected federal representatives to support H.R. 2550. It is
common-sense legislation. As you send your emails to your Members of Congress,
please copy BoatUS at GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com .
We’d also like to ask you to send a copy of your correspondence to the
EPA, so they can see how this will affect citizens. However, please know that
if you choose to send it to EPA, it will become a part of the public record.
EPA’s email is email@example.com ,
and your email needs to have a subject line with Docket ID No. OW-2007-0483.
Thank you for your help.
BoatUS Government Affairs
703-461-2864 or 703-461-2878 x8363
to www.tomneale.com for other information
Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed
at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself
or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a
condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors
harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that
Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale