Fixing recreation infrastructure isn't just critical to boaters, it's critical to the U.S. economy

Getting boaters out on the water is essential to the recreational boating industry’s success and doing so requires modern infrastructure.

While Americans increasingly look for ways to spend time with loved ones in a safe outdoor environment, recreation access and infrastructure is in desperate need of renovation and expansion and must be addressed in a larger infrastructure package.

The recreational boating community stands ready to support efforts to strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and work alongside policymakers to keep up with the challenges of growing demand and climate change.


 

Key Facts

Led by the recreational boating industry, the outdoor recreation economy is a major economic driver.

 
2.1%
of GDP
 
$788 billion
in economic output
 
5.2 million
American jobs
 
  • In 2020, recreational boating reached a 13-year high in sales as outdoor activities gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Our aging outdoor infrastructure is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and much of our nation's aging recreation areas are already in need of maintenance.

 

Recreational Boating Industry’s Top Policy Priorities
  • Increase funding to support access to outdoor recreation for all by reauthorizing the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, establishing a Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) dedicated USACE set-aside to ensure critical infrastructure needs are met, and expanding opportunities for National Marine Sanctuaries tourism.
  • Implement the Great American Outdoors Act
  • Implement sound permitting processes to remove barriers to recreation and enable infrastructure improvements
  • Prioritize restoration and resiliency projects, such as modernizing boating infrastructure and access projects, and enacting the Providing Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Resilient Enterprises (PREPARE) Act
  • Pass a major surface transportation bill to address critical recreation infrastructure needs, inclusive of the needs of the recreational boating industry including the development of climate resilient water infrastructure and coastlines
  • Establish incentives and resources to support the development and deployment of electric, solar, and hydrogen fuel cell powered recreation products
  • Identify opportunities to improve and modernize access through directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a public boating access survey and develop electric charging infrastructure to support electric and solar propulsion recreational vessels.