The US boating industry this week showcased American-made boats and engines around Washington, DC, including having a Hinckley picnic boat sitting on the White House grounds. 'Made In America Week' was created by the Trump administration to highlight US-made products.

Beyond the Hinckley, boats by Tracker Marine with Mercury outboards, Chaparral and Sea Ray were displayed across from the US Department of Interior. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and boating industry officials were part of an outdoor industry delegation that toured a display that included boats, recreational vehicles, off-road vehicles, fishing gear and other US-made products.

Members of the boating industry, including NMMA officials and the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, also met with Zinke to discuss how public-private partnerships can improve visitor experiences on public lands and waters.

NMMA president Thom Dammrich opened the meeting by introducing almost 30 opportunities for immediate private investment on public lands that would amount to more than US$80m. Dammrich said that these ideas were just the first wave of thousands more opportunities that will emerge over the next few months if the government allows more private investment for recreational experiences on public lands.

“Secretary Zinke’s support of public-private partnerships will help expand access to public lands for outdoor recreation, update recreation sites, and reduce the maintenance backlog within our public lands and waters, which aligns perfectly with the needs and interests of the boating industry,” said Dammrich. He added that NMMA was “proud” to speak on behalf of the 35,000 businesses in the recreational boating industry, “as we work together to protect boating for the millions of American boaters."

Zinke also announced the first advisory committee that will focus on expanding public-private partnerships on America’s public lands. “We have wonderful partners who proudly make their outdoor products in America,” Zinke said during the event. “We can leverage these partners to help address the maintenance backlog on things like boat ramps, RV hookups, campgrounds, and cafeterias as long as the government is a willing collaborator.”