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Michigan Well Represented at the American Boating Congress

Tuesday, May 24, 2016   (0 Comments)

Representing all 350 MBIA members, Immediate Past Chairman Jim Coburn, current MBIA Director Amy Crouchman, and MBIA Executive Director Nicki Polan had a very successful 3 days at the American Boating Congress in Washington D.C. last week. “We met with a total of 10 offices including Senator Stabenow and Senator Peters,” said Polan. “Eight of the visits were with the Reps and Senators directly, and all meetings were positive. We believe our elected officials understand the value of the boating industry to our state – but also it is extremely important to continue to lay this out for them, as well as go over the issues important to our industry.” MBIA also worked to get those who are not currently on the Congressional Boating Caucus to join. “All Michigan Reps should be on this Caucus,” said Polan. MBIA members Tom and Dave Slikkers from S2 Yachts, and Jessica Gamarra, Paul Morgan, and Joseph Hoffman from ILMOR Engineering also attended the ABC. “It was great to have a strong Michigan showing from across the state representing dealers, marinas, service companies, and manufacturers,” said Polan. “Adding the meetings from these other members brings us at a minimum to more than 12 Michigan office visits on the Hill.”

Visits included:
Representative Tim Walberg 7-MI
Representative Dave Trott 11-MI
Representative Brenda Lawrence 14-MI
Representative Sander Levin 9-MI
Representative Dan Benishek 1-MI
Representative Bill Huizenga 2-MI
Representative John Moolenaar 4-MI
Representative Fred Upton 6-MI
Representative Candice Miller 10-MI
Representative Debbie Dingell 12-MI
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Gary Peters

American Boating Congress - TOP 6 LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

1. MAGNUSON-STEVENS REAUTHORIZATION
The Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) is the primary law governing saltwater marine fisheries management in the US. Since its passage in 1976, MSA has made notable progress in ending overfishing, rebuilding depleted fish stocks, and protecting essential fish habitat. The boating and angling industry are actively urging Congress to reauthorize this important law and ensure recreational angling has its fair share!

OUR ASK TO U.S. REPS:
• Please support the Reauthorization of MSA
• Thank you for passing HR 1335
• Please continue to support recreational angling legislation

OUR ASK TO U.S. SENATORS:
• Please take up comprehensive MSA legislation that addresses important recreational priorities from the Morris-Deal Commission!

2. FIX THE RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD (ETHANOL)
The current RFS is a broken law and must be fixed. It is pushing too much ethanol into the pipeline because it is not adjusted for reduced consumption.
Ethanol destroys marine and small engines. E15 destroys small engines and marine engines. We must assure E10 and E0 (Ethanol free fuel) remain available for boats and other small engine equipment. The current RFS does not address this. Misfueling voids all warranties, and there is inadequate signage at the pump and no plan for outreach.

OUR ASK TO U.S. SENATORS & REPS:
• Please support H.R. 704 which limits Ethanol in our fuel OR S. 577
• If you haven’t done so already, will you sign a DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER, which questions the EPA’s consumer outreach on E15?

3. WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT (WRRDA = WRDA)
• This important act authorizes the Army Corp to develop and maintain our harbors and waterways
• Harbor maintenance and small port dredging is crucial for recreational boating
• Many projects have commenced, but the Army Corp still has a $60 billion backlog
• This legislation is set to expire in 2016
• All parties pledged in 2014 to maintain a 2 year reauthorization cycle

OUR ASK TO U.S. SENATORS: Support and co-sponsor Senators Inhofe and Boxer’s S. 2848 (Water Resources Development Act of 2016)

OUR ASK TO U.S. REPS: Please support Representative Bill Shuster (R-PA-9), Chairman of the House Transportation Committee when he introduces the Water Resources Development Act of 2016


4. PROTECTING OUR GREAT LAKES

Our Great Lakes are vitally important to us all.
• Is the largest system of fresh surface water in the world
• Contain 21% of the world’s fresh water
Support 25% of all registered boaters who are boating in the Great Lakes
• Are critical to the success of major industries in MI like Boating’s $7.4 billion annual impact on Michigan’s economy; Tourism - $19 billion annually on Michigan’s economy
• Offer more freshwater coastline access than any other state in the U.S.
• Home to more than 35,633,000 people (2009) and predicted to be 40,507,000 (2020)

The growing list of threats needs to be aggressively controlled:
• Ontario Power Generation’s plans to build a nuclear power depository on the shores of Lake Huron
• Enbridge’s aging oil pipelines that are running through the Straights of Mackinaw, St. Clair River, Detroit River, Chain of Lakes and other waters in Michigan.
• Asian Carp – if they enter the Great Lakes, our fisheries will be destroyed
• Algae Blooms – dead zones caused by farm runoff and net-pen aquaculture

OUR ASK TO U.S. REPS & U.S. SENATORS:
• Support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) which was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world — the Great Lakes. During FY15 -19, federal agencies will continue to use GLRI resources to strategically target the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem, and to accelerate progress toward long term goals for this important ecosystem.

These actions will build on restoration and protection work carried out under the first GLRI Action Plan, with a major focus on:
• Cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern
• Preventing and controlling invasive species
• Reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms
• Restoring habitat to protect native species

5. BOATING ACCESS
The National Park Service is attempting to implement a 10,000 acre marine reserve in Biscayne National Park, unnecessarily limiting public access. The House passed the SHARE Act (H.R. 2406) in 2016, which requires the NPS and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to have approval from state fish and wildlife agencies before closing state waters to recreational or commercial fishing, and includes key provisions for improved access for anglers across the country.

OUR ASK TO U.S. REPS:
• Thank you if you voted for the SHARE ACT Senators Bill Cassidy (LA) and Marco Rubio (FL) introduced S. 2807, Preserving Public Access to Public Waters Act

OUR ASK TO U.S. SENATORS:
• Please support SHARE ACT Senators Bill Cassidy (LA) and Marco Rubio (FL) introduced S. 2807, Preserving Public Access to Public Waters Act

6. TRADE
The elimination of tariffs on U.S. made recreational products (boats and RVs) in Japan and New Zealand will enhance the competitiveness of U.S. products in these high income markets. Additionally, the elimination of tariffs on recreational transportation products in Malaysia and Vietnam (which apply tariffs as high at 70%) will provide U.S. producers greater access to the growing middle class in those markets.

OUR ASK TO U.S. REPS & U.S. SENATORS:
• Incorporate trade numbers in the overall economic messaging
• Reiterate support for trade policies and agreements that support US manufactured products and the boating industry at large
• Swiftly ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership, once President Obama submits, as a sound trade agreement which supports US manufacturing and the recreational boating industry


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Michigan Boating Industries Association | 32398 Five Mile Road Livonia, MI 48154 | Phone: 734.261.0123 | Fax: 734.261.0880

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