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NMMA defends new Miami show site in letter to the editor

Boat show organizers have been more vocal in responding to what they say is misinformation regarding the show’s move.

A letter to the editor appearing Wednesday in the Miami Herald, written by National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich, is emphasizing the group’s commitment to the environment and underscores that a permitting hang-up is just a routine part of the process for projects along waterways.

Boat show organizers have been more vocal in responding to what they say is misinformation regarding the show’s move from Miami Beach Convention Center to the Miami Marine Stadium in the 2016.

Most recently, a flag sent up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who say mitigation measures will be needed to offset the negative environmental effects of temporary docking in the basin for 90 days, grabbed headlines again as the politics and press around the boat show’s move to the stadium park continue to roil.

“The May 7 article, ‘Federal review adds to Miami boat show debate,’ focused on a report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the environmental impact of the work that will be done at Marine Stadium Park and Basin,” Dammrich wrote. “This type of report is a routine part of the permitting process for any projects in our waterways — a process we have gone through for boat shows throughout the country.”

Following the article that ran in the Herald last week, which noted that there was only one day left for the public to comment on the Army Corps. permit hangup, a story appeared in the South Florida Business Journal saying that nine environmental groups were challenging the Miami International Boat Show’s plans to move to the park and basin.

On May 8, nine environmental organizations submitted a joint letter saying the permit needs to be amended, according to the article. Dammrich’s letter emphasized that this is part of the process.

“The National Marine Manufacturers Association has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies like it for years to ensure that we comply with any requirements or concerns surrounding our events,” Dammrich wrote. “Our efforts at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin are no different.”

“As an organization centered on advocating for the marine industry, we’re acutely aware of the importance of protecting waterways,” he wrote. “We represent and work with marine manufacturers and their boating customers who depend on the health of the marine environment for their livelihood and leisure. We actively take measures to help ensure clean marine engines and emissions. We also support the Sportfish Restoration Trust Fund, for which an estimated $300 million is collected annually from taxes boaters pay and that goes toward marine conservation, boater access and safety.”

He went on to note the impact of the boat show on south Florida’s economy – “supporting 55,000 middle-class jobs and generating approximately $32 million in tax revenue for the state from sales conducted at the show."



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