Federal Boating Issues

Since its founding in 1966, BoatUS has been the voice of recreational boat owners on Capitol Hill and before the federal agencies in Washington. With the strength of over half a million members behind us, our mission has been to fight unfair federal taxes, fees and regulations that single out boat owners and to work with state agencies to promote boating laws that make sense. Here is a list of current federal boating issues:

  •  The Modern Fish Act

    The federal laws involving fisheries are getting renewed attention from Congress with multiple bills filed in both the House and Senate. Known as the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), these laws and the regulations that spring from them have a significant influence on fishing opportunities for recreational anglers.

    Of particular interest for rec anglers is The Modern Fish Act that has been introduced in both the House (H.R. 2023) and Senate (S. 1520) This bill would improve public access to America's federal waters, promote conservation of natural marine resources, and spur economic growth by fixing key issues in the law governing marine fisheries. Send a message to ask your member of Congress to support this legislation and help ensure fisheries management that works for recreational fishing. For further information on the history of MSA please see "40 Years Of The Magnusen-Stevens Act".
  •  The New Budget Blueprint

    Boat owners should be aware of potential impacts that could affect boating safety, access and the health of our waterways. Proposed cuts to agencies such as the Departments of Commerce and Interior, Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency could lead to changes for many programs that matter to boating. For more information on the budget proposal click here.
  •  BoatUS Comments on the RFS:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called for comments on the so-called "renewable volume obligations (RVOs)" for 2017. The RVOs make up the Federal mandate dictating how much ethanol must be mixed into the nation's gas supply required by the 2005 Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) law. Click here to read our comments to the EPA, asking them to reduce the mandate for more and more ethanol that will limit boaters' fuel options.
  •  Florida Vessel Safety Inspection:

    Beginning July 1, 2016, boats boarded by Florida state and local marine law enforcement and successfully passing a safety inspection will be issued an inspection decal. The decals, which currently have no expiration date, can only be issued to vessels that are on the water at the time of inspection. Click here for more information on this new FL law.
  •  BoatUS Supports New RFS/E15 Fix:

    Bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) would help ensure recreational boaters don’t put unsafe fuel in their boats. BoatUS is urging all boaters to contact their US Representative asking they support H.R. 704 - The Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act of 2015. Read more about RFS/E15
  •  Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund Reauthorization:

    The Trust Fund serves as the backbone of boating safety, infrastructure, clean water and fisheries conservation funding in the United States. Congress reauthorization this critical "User Pays-Public Benefits" program in 2015. Click here to learn more.
  •  BoatUS comments on the Future of Federal Aids to Navigation:

    BoatUS comments to the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation regarding the future of Federal aids to navigation. Read More
  •  Mexican Boat Seizures:

    Reports of United States and Canadian recreational boats being placed under "precautionary seizure" by an agency of the Mexican Government. Read More
  •  Great Lakes Mississippi River Basin Study Released:

    The Army Corps of Engineers study on prevention of the spread of aquatic nuisances species. Information and Public Meeting Schedule
  •  Unintended Consequences - The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

    President Margaret Podlich submits Testimony to the U.S. House Oversight Committee on the need for reforms and the dangers of E15 in marine engines.   Read More
  •  What Does Sequestration Mean for Boaters?

    Sequestration could cause the loss of access to $43 million of boating trust fund dollars. Read More
  •  Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Infrastructure Trust Fund

  •  Don't Mess with GPS

  •  Federal Regulation Security Reminder

  •  Working Waterfronts

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