Organizers detail schedule for California Boating Congress

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For the third year in a row the California Boating Congress will bring the industry together at the state capital to advocate for issues affecting boating policy in California.

The CBC will begin on Feb. 27 with a cocktail reception at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento. The main event will start at 8:30 a.m. the following day at the hotel.

Robert Newsome, vice president of engineering standards, membership and marketing for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, will be the keynote speaker and will provide an overview of the economic and recreational impact of boating in California.

A summary of legislative and regulatory issues affecting recreational boating will be presented by Bret Gladfelty of the Apex Group, along with guidelines and instructions for afternoon meetings with legislators.

Breakout sessions focused on boating issues will follow a morning coffee break, covering topics that include current and pending regulations, programs to remove abandoned vessels, proposed changes at the Boating and Waterways Commission and new California Vessel Operators requirements.

Lunch will be served at the Hyatt, and conferees will then proceed to the state Capitol for meetings with lawmakers.

This public event is the result of collaboration among the Marine Retailers Association and 11 other boating-related groups, including the Worldwide Boaters Safety Group; California Yacht Brokers Association; NMMA; California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference; Personal Watercraft Industry Association; California Sportfishing League; California Delta Chambers and Visitors Bureau; Recreational Boaters of California; Bay Planning Coalition; Sacramento Valley Marine Association; and the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains.

"Based on the success of the last two California Boating Congresses and the participation of three additional co-hosts for this year's event, we are expecting the 2018 CBC, and our voice at the Capitol, to grow substantially," MRA operations administrator Mariann Timms said in a statement.