Outside the House Chamber, BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy (R) and Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association Executive Director Brad Pickel (C) advocate for the waterway with Rep. Gregory Murphy M.D. (NC-03). Download hi-res photo
WASHINGTON, March 19, 2020 – Prior to last week’s closure of the U.S. Capitol, and led by the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association (AIWA), Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) joined a broad coalition of groups including coastal shipping operators, dredging contractors, local governments and recreational boating groups to advocate on behalf of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, an important U.S. DOT-designated Marine Highway that runs from Norfolk, Virginia to Miami, Florida. The coalition went to Capitol Hill pushing to establish an individual allocation for dredging maintenance, address navigational needs, and to help grow recognition of the waterway’s economic impact on America’s $427.2 billion outdoor recreation economy.
“The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is both a celebrated recreationway and important commercial waterway with strategic national importance, but it’s too shallow,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs and AIWA Chairman David Kennedy. “Authorized depth is 12-feet, but shoaling from storms and hurricanes has left some portions with as little as 5-feet of water. While we’ve had success getting some funding restored, current estimates of the waterway’s unmet maintenance needs are about $75 million.”
Part of any new funding would be targeted for additional dredging needs on the waterway’s small, remote or subsistence navigation harbors, where recreational boating is often a local driver of the economy. Said AIWA Executive Director Brad Pickel, “All waterway users rely on a well-maintained waterway and contribute to its economic value. We urge the Administration and Congress to consider the economic impact of not only commercial usage but also the significant impact of recreational boating in communities along Marine Highway 95’s 1100-mile path.”
Suggested Tweet and Facebook post:
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, @BoatUS, Go to Capitol Hill to ask for dredging funds https://bit.ly/3acvsUR, #BoatUSonWatch, @RepGregMurphy
About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):
Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program offers policies that give boat owners affordable, 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.