WASHINGTON – A panel of distinguished national boating leaders who serve as a sounding board for the nation’s boater advocate, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), gathered last week with BoatUS staff in Washington to discuss key issues affecting recreational boaters.
Topics on the daylong agenda included discussions of recreational boating issues including federal and state legislation such as the Sportfish Restoration Trust Fund, U.S. Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, Modern Fish Act, incompatible ethanol fuels, and the Renewable Fuel Standard. Additional topics reviewed were boating access and infrastructure; boating safety; fishing and environmental issues including invasive species, boat recycling and water quality; and trends in boat owner demographics, boat sales and paddle-craft issues. Regional boating issues specific to Florida, California, Texas, Maine and New York were also presented.
The volunteer members of the BoatUS National Advisory Council included Robert Baldridge, past Chief Commander, United States Power Squadrons; Lenora S. Clark, former California Boating and Waterways Commissioner and former Recreational Boaters of California President; Dean Travis Clarke, former Executive Editor, Bonnier Marine Group; Thom Dammrich, President Emeritus, National Marine Manufacturers Association; Ray Durazo, President, Recreational Boaters of California; Jim Ellis, National Advisory Council Chairman and former president, BoatUS; John Flynn, Principal, Squire Patton Boggs; Cody Jones, Chair, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators; Liz Ogilvie, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, American Sportfishing Association; Richard Washburn, Immediate Past Commodore, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary; and Bob Adriance, former editor, Seaworthy.
Also in attendance was Capt. Scott Johnson, U.S. Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety, and newly elected council member Beth Newburger Schwartz, President of Epoch Communications and wife of late BoatUS founder Richard Schwartz.
BoatUS leadership and staff included Tammy Moore, President and Chief Operating Officer; Chris Edmonston, Vice President, Government Affairs, and President, BoatUS Foundation; Heather Lougheed, Vice President, Membership; Scott Croft, Vice President, Public Affairs; David Kennedy, Manager, Government Affairs; John Lee, Program Coordinator, Government Affairs, Rich Armstrong, Senior Editor, BoatUS Magazine; and Chris Nowack, BoatUS Corporate Secretary and Counsel.
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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.