NMMA reports on pending boating legislation

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association is closely following boating-related bills in the following states:

Minnesota: Two bills recently introduced in Minnesota would prevent the state from developing boating access points on waterways that currently do not have one. State Sen. Tom Bakk and State Rep. David Dill introduced S2890/H3230 in an effort to protect currently clean waterways from being infested with invasive species. The NMMA is currently working with legislators to amend the overly broad language.

Florida: Less than a year after the Florida legislature enacted a boater-friendly law to prevent counties and cities from restricting the anchorage of cruisers, state Rep. Richard Steinberg (D-Miami Beach) has introduced HB 1361 to reverse that stance. A patchwork of restrictions in several coastal counties currently limits anchorage to as little as two days. Miami Beach, which has a seven-day restriction, was among the first to enact the limits to mollify waterfront property owners. NMMA and marine trade associations statewide are strongly opposing this bill.

Illinois: Illinois Sen. Don Harmon recently introduced a bill to require that a life jacket be worn by anyone who is the sole occupant of a boat less than 26 feet long. Harmon believes SB 3060 will provide a needed margin of safety when a person who is the only occupant of a boat is unable to summon assistance if he falls overboard or is involved in an accident. SB 3060 is the latest of several bills seeking to mandate the wearing of life jackets.

Maryland: Attorney general Douglas F. Gansler is pushing a bill to ban treated and untreated sewage discharge from commercial and recreational vessels in all Maryland waters, including a majority of the Chesapeake Bay. The NMMA is concerned about HB 1257's requirements because of the lack of pumpout stations serving Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and because many recreational boats with Type 1 and 2 treatment systems do not have holding tanks.