The National Marine Manufacturers Association has called on its Florida member companies to support for a marine business petition targeting key federal and state policymakers regarding the ongoing algae bloom crisis. The Boating Matters petition is directed at President Donald Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Florida Governor Rick Scott and other federal and Florida officials.
The algae bloom and red tides, which have persisted for nearly a year, have killed tens of thousands of fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and dozens of others, while making some marinas inhabitable and dampening boat sales. It has also restricted access to beaches. Scott has declared a State of Emergency in seven counties. The petition said that additional state and federal aid is needed.
The recreational boating industry in Florida has a $10.3 billion annual economic impact, supporting over 5,500 businesses that employ over 55,000 people. There are more than one million registered boats in the state.