Recreational Boating and Fishing Advocates Discussed Top Industry Issues with Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. during ABC

Advocates from the recreational boating and fishing industry gathered in Washington, D.C., last week to tackle the pressing issues confronting the $230 billion sector during the three-day American Boating Congress (ABC).

Conversations with lawmakers focused on infrastructure, boater access, manufacturing, and sustainability, and ABC attendees heard from multiple speakers, including Mike Allen and Alex Thompson of Axios and Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections to get an insider’s look of the inner workings of Congress, the Administration, and the concerns of voters.

NMMA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer gave a presentation on the state of the boating industry, and awards were given to recognize the various contributions of those who are championing the recreational boating and fishing industries.

Captain Fred Gamboa of Point Pleasant, NJ, was awarded the 2024 Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award by the NMMA Foundation for Recreational Boating Safety, Education and Environmental Awareness. Congresswoman Mary Peltola (D-AK) was awarded the NMMA Legislator of the Year award for her support of the recreational boating and fishing communities.

Attendees also heard from a panel of marine technology experts, who discussed the advanced technologies that can be deployed and integrated to help prevent whale vessel strikes. Many of these advanced technologies were recently on display at an April 11 Marine Technology Showcase on capitol hill in Washington, D.C., hosted by NMMA. ABC concluded with a discussion about workforce issues facing the industry and the next steps the industry can take.

Boating and fishing advocates are encouraged to mark their calendars for May 12-14, 2025, for the next ABC.