The NMMA applauds the House of Representatives' passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) yesterday, which authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to implement critical civilian water infrastructure projects. This decision marks an essential step forward in ensuring the preservation of the nation's ports, harbors, and inland waterways, which will help generate substantial economic impact for local communities across the country.
“The recreational boating industry has long been a powerful driver of our nation's economy, supporting over 35,000 businesses and nearly 700,000 jobs. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when many communities are seeking financial relief, WRDA will provide a much- needed stimulus, boosting recreational boating access and moving us closer to recovery through the industry's economic contributions,” said Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of government and legal affairs.
The legislation addresses many of the recreational boating community’s top access, conservation and infrastructure priorities and opens the door for incorporating additional recreation focused objectives in future WRDA bills.
Additionally, NMMA commends the inclusion of provisions in the legislation that will advance key recreation and conservation priorities:
- improving federal efforts to combat aquatic invasive species (AIS);
- funding projects in small and emerging harbors;
- comprehensive assessment of USACE recreational infrastructure and facilities operation and maintenance needs and the economic benefits of sustaining and improving public recreational access; and
- helping restore the Everglades and Great Lakes, among others.
“This bipartisan bright spot is a major win for policymakers and industry members alike, and we are committed to working alongside our federal, state, and local partners to ensure Americans have access to healthy and navigable waterways for years to come,” noted Vasilaros.