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BoatUS criticizes Coast Guard cuts in Trump budget

BoatUS said boat owners should be aware that the Trump administration’s proposed federal budget cuts could affect boating safety.
Coast Guard funding could be cut by 14 percent under the Trump administration’s proposed federal budget. Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard

Coast Guard funding could be cut by 14 percent under the Trump administration’s proposed federal budget. Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard

BoatUS said boat owners should be aware that the Trump administration’s proposed federal budget cuts could affect boating safety, access and the health of waterways.

“The administration’s budget proposal clearly reflects a different set of priorities over previous years,” BoatUS government affairs manager David Kennedy said in a statement. “Proposed cuts to agencies such as the Departments of Commerce and Interior, Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency could lead to changes for many programs that matter to boating.”

“Considering boating’s $121.5 billion impact, we believe this would be shortsighted and negatively affect the boating experience for our nation’s 12 million boat owners,” Kennedy said in a statement.

Kennedy said that under the budget proposal’s shifting priorities, Coast Guard funding could be slashed by 14 percent, to just $7.8 billion, while the service’s “parent,” the Department of Homeland Security, receives more money.

“As the budget process continues, boaters may need to communicate with their members of Congress regarding programs that fund clean-water efforts, clean marina programs, navigation improvements, regional waterway restoration, such as the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes and Puget Sound, and boating safety programs,” Kennedy said. “We are keeping a close watch.”

BoatUS said it will continue to monitor the budget process, ensure that the recreational boater’s voice is heard and advise its more than half-million members of boating-related budget items.

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