Boater Access & Working Waterfronts
Spiraling land values for waterfront property in the last few years have created a crisis for recreational boating. Traditional marinas with public slips are giving way to residential development, working boatyards are being taxed at "highest and best use" rates that deflate the bottom line, permitting issues are driving up costs and delaying any new marina or dry-stack facility construction, and public launching ramps are in short supply and often outmoded (see Boaters Get Bumped - BoatU.S. Magazine, March 2006).
While access issues are complex and usually very local problems that deal with private property, there is at least one potential solution at the federal level. The Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act of 2011 has been introduced in Congress. This bill (H.R. 3109) sponsored by Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree , is aimed at preserving sites for "waterfront dependent commercial activities".
Boaters should write to their own members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 3109. To see a copy of the bill go to: