Bill Yeargin, chief executive of Correct Craft, has been named to the US Department of Interior’s “Made in America” Outdoor Recreational Advisory Committee. The announcement was made on Friday during a special presentation at the American Boating Congress (ABC) in Washington, DC.

The committee will advise Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on public-private partnerships across all public lands with the goal of expanding access and improving infrastructure to public waterways. Yeargin, the first member of the boating industry to be named to the committee, said he was “honoured” to be a part of it.

“The US has wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities and I look forward to working with Secretary Zinke and other leaders to ensure we make that experience available to all while also protecting it for future generations,” he said in a statement.

The committee was announced earlier this year. “The Committee’s experience as entrepreneurs and business leaders provide unique insight that is often lost in the Federal government,” said Zinke in the statement. “As we rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, we can continue the growth of the American recreation sector, which supports millions of American jobs and bares a significant impact on our economy.”

The committee’s members were selected for diverse backgrounds with the recreational industry, knowledge of public-private partnerships, developing and deploying infrastructure improvements, or a thorough understanding of recreational equipment.

“Bill brings the voice of recreational boating – a voice that’s critical as we work with the Department of Interior to advance balanced policies that conserve public waterways so that they can be accessed by boaters and anglers,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Bill is a leader with a deep understanding and appreciation of the recreational marine economy.”

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) says that recreational boating and fishing drive an estimated $38bn of US GDP as part of the outdoor recreation economy, which represents 2% of US GDP.