Congresswoman Mary Peltola (D-AK) Named Legislator of the Year by National Marine Manufacturers Association

Congresswoman Mary Peltola (D-AK) has been awarded the Legislator of the Year Award by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) for her support of the recreational boating and fishing industry.

The award recognizes Congresswoman Peltola's leadership in advocating for policies that support the boating industry, protect marine ecosystems, and advance conservation efforts for all who rely on the oceans. Specifically, the Congresswoman has proactively worked to support the recreational boating and fishing industry through her support of common-sense marine mammal management. Her actions demonstrate a fearless leadership and recognition of a broader regulatory threat that could one day negatively impact Alaska’s boaters and anglers.

In 2023, Congresswoman Peltola introduced H.R. 4323, Protecting Whales, Human Safety and the Economy Act of 2023, saying at the time, “Like most of my colleagues, I am concerned about the long-term health of our marine mammal populations, including the North Atlantic Right Whale. This rule, however, has too many potential unintended consequences for small boat operators who need flexibility to maintain their safety at sea. Alaskans know that the ocean is unpredictable; limiting a vessel’s speed can have catastrophic consequences for human life and new regulations should not create additional hazards for our nation’s mariners.”

In December, Congresswoman Peltola led a letter to Janet Coit, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in which she and her Congressional colleagues expressed their opposition to the expansion of the 2008 North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Act.

"We are pleased to present Congresswoman Mary Peltola with the Legislator of the Year Award in recognition of her support for the recreational boating industry and commonsense regulations to protect our marine ecosystems," said Frank Hugelmeyer, CEO and President of NMMA. "Congresswoman Peltola has a strong environmental record and knows that recreational boating and fishing can seamlessly coexist without sacrificing the restoration of ocean habitats and wildlife. The proposed NOAA vessel strike rule was devised off flawed data and assumptions that have gone unchallenged, and ultimately, if implemented as proposed, will lead to harmful consequences for boat operators and marine manufacturers.”

The Legislator of the Year Award is presented annually by NMMA to recognize lawmakers who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to advancing the interests of the recreational boating industry.