Congressional Boating Caucus names co-chairs

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association said in in today’s e-newsletter Currents that U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Representative Lois Frankel (D-FL), and Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN) have been named as Congressional Boating Caucus co-chairs for the 116th Congress.

The Boating Caucus is a bipartisan group of more than 100 U.S. Senators and Representatives formed in 1989 to advocate for the interests of the recreational boating industry. According to the association’s website, there are 31 Senators and 109 Representatives in this session’s Boating Caucus.

“NMMA and our partner organizations are eager to work alongside these leaders as we look to navigate a new political environment, propose commonsense policies, and ensure the 141 million boaters who take to our nation’s waterways annually are able to enjoy the benefits of a day on the water,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich in the statement, adding that the Congressional Boating Caucus has allowed marine manufacturing to remain a “positive force” across the country.

Nicole Vasilaros, NMMA senior vice president of government relations and legal affairs, said the Caucus is largely responsible for bipartisan support for legislation impacting recreational boating. “As we look to build on recent legislative successes – including passage of the Modern Fish Act and inclusion of key industry priorities in bills like the U.S. Coast Guard reauthorization and America’s Water Infrastructure Act – we are fortunate to have dedicated, hardworking co-chairs who will help us achieve these objectives,” she said in the statement.

“Michigan is home to vibrant boating and fishing industries that support small businesses, boost tourism and are key engines of economic growth for communities across the state,” said Sen. Peters, who is also a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force. “I look forward to joining my colleagues to highlight the critical roles boating and fishing play on Michigan waterways and assess ways to support millions of American boaters.”

“In my home state of Florida, recreational boating isn’t just a way of life – it’s a $23 billion industry supporting more than 92,000 jobs,” added Rep. Frankel in the statement.

David Kennedy, government affairs manager for BoatUS, said that his organization appreciates the work of the Boating Caucus. “It’s hard to overstate the value of these unique relationships to BoatU.S. members and the millions of Americans who love spending time on the water,” said Kennedy in the statement.