President Obama Signs Outdoor REC Act into Law

Last Thursday, President Obama signed the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016 into law, a critical bill that quantifies the true size of the outdoor economy, including recreational boating. Better known as the REC Act, it will instruct the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce (DOC) to assess and analyze the U.S. outdoor recreation economy and its effects on the overall U.S. economy.

“NMMA celebrates the passage of the REC Act passage, which ensures boating and outdoor recreation access for generations to come by highlighting the economic value of recreation, an industry that supports an estimated 6 million jobs and $646 billion in economic activity,” noted Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “We’re excited to be a part of the team that will work with the Bureau of Economic Analysis to shape how outdoor recreation is defined and ensure the boating and outdoor recreation industries economic reach are recognized.”

The REC Act directs the Secretary of Commerce, through the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), to “conduct an assessment and analysis of the outdoor recreation economy of the United States.” A temporary pilot program was enacted by the Secretary of the Interior in April, and the passage of the REC Act was needed to make sure that the outdoor economy receives official government recognition for years to come.