Recreational boating and fishing advocates will converge on Capitol Hill as the 2017 American Boating Congress opens today and continues through Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Organizers are hoping to take advantage of the fact that there is a new president in Donald Trump and a new Congress, especially as industry groups have joined forces as the Outdoor Recreational Industry Roundtable.
The group is looking to highlight the concerns of boating, fishing, archery, camping and hunting, for example, and unite around common issues such as infrastructure improvement and access to public lands and waters.
“If we can be a part of that greater message it helps to tell a really good story that we haven’t done good service to in the past,” said Nicole Vasilaros, vice president of federal and legal affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
Industry stakeholders have applauded the appointment of Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary because they believe he will safeguard access to public lands and waters.
This year there will be three tracks of issue workshops. The NMMA says there are nine new issue workshops on the agenda, divided into three subject tracks — a business track, an environment and access track and a workforce and compliance track.
The business track will offer sessions on tax policy, infrastructure and trade. The environment and access track will offer sessions on access and conservation, boating safety and saltwater recreational fishing policy. The workforce and compliance track will offer sessions on workforce development, fuel policy, and health and safety compliance.
CNN chief Washington correspondent and anchor Jake Tapper will be the keynote speaker on Wednesday. Tapper will address topics related to fake news and misinformation and will follow his address with a question-and-answer session.
Read more coverage from Trade Only Today in the coming days.