The Advisory Council of Marine Associations has released its annual list of policy resolutions. ACMA is comprised of associations in the recreational marine industries, state and regional marine trade associations, and other interested parties. The group serves as a sounding board for MRAA’s legislative priorities and the recreational boating industry at large. During a meeting that took place at the 2017 Marine Dealer Conference and Expo, participants discussed the current state of the marine industry’s policy priorities, and devised a list of four major areas on which MRAA should focus its legislative and advocacy efforts for 2018.
Workforce development efforts, including:
Aggressively supporting any legislation, federal and state, that increases the creation of, access to and funding for vocational training programs and facilities on the high school and community college level
Promote member dealers directly connecting with their local school systems;
Make known available materials such as from ABYC, Sea Grant and others;
Examine creation of good apprenticeship programs;
Call for the availability of government grants (such as Pell Grants), corporate and government scholarships and other form of financial assistance.
Federal issues, such as the “Modern Fish Act – Reauthorization of Magnuson-Steven Act, that impact access to fishing for recreational boaters;
Advocate for recognition of recreational boating and fishing’s enormous positive economic impact;
Support marine trade associations’ effort regarding fishing issues, for example the ongoing threat of Asian Carp entering the Great Lakes.
Ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard:
MRAA should be engaged in advocating for and supporting all revisions to the Renewable Fuel Standard and other similar efforts to cap the amount of ethanol in fuel supplies.
MRAA should actively respond and refute inaccurate claims about the renewable fuel standard and ethanol’s effects on marine engines.
Environmental and Infrastructure Concerns:
The prioritization of “low tonnage” federal channels by the Army Corps of Engineers;
Call for aggressive action (federal and state) on the nation-wide algae bloom problems;
Support renewal of the Water Resources & Development Act and dredging of the ICW;
Support programs to prevent invasive species that threaten the health of our waterways;
Be prepared to lobby for projects positively impacting waterways and boating in federal infrastructure proposals expected from the Administration in 2018.