The briefings provided an educational opportunity for Congressional staffers to learn about the recreational boating sector

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) kicked off National Fishing and Boating week by holding two briefings for over 100 congressional staff in Washington, DC, Tuesday to discuss the importance of the US$650m Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (Trust Fund) and the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF).

The briefings provided an educational opportunity for Congressional staffers to learn about the recreational boating and fishing industry’s economic and environmental contributions as well as the industry’s positions on securing funding for critical conservation and infrastructure.

During the Trust Fund briefing – titled “How Anglers and Boaters Directly Contribute to Conservation Efforts” – NMMA Director of Federal Government Relations, Clay Crabtree, led a panel discussion covering how the program provides funding to all 50 states for conservation and recreational infrastructure projects and why Congress should protect and expand its scope. Crabtree was joined on the panel by government officials and industry stakeholders from the States Organization for Boating Access; United States Coast Guard; US Fish and Wildlife Service American Sportfishing Association; and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.

“Unleashing the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund: Securing Investments for our Nation’s Ports, Harbors, & Waterways” focused on the HMTF’s role in facilitating opportunities for safe and enjoyable recreation on our public waters and the need to ensure all revenue collected into the HMTF be invested in its intended purpose: maintaining all federal harbours.

Moderated by Callie Hoyt, NMMA Director of Federal Government Relations, attendees heard presentations from Shannon Hines, Staff Director, US Senate Appropriations Committee; Kathy Griffin, Navigation Branch Chief, US Army Corps of Engineers; William Doyle, CEO and Executive Director, Dredging Contractors of America; Ray Bucheger, Partner, FBB Federal Relations; and Amy Larson, President, National Waterways Council.

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