The $1.3 trillion spending bill passed in Congress on Friday included some wins for the recreational boating industry, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
The bill, which will fund the federal government through Sept. 30, positively impacts marine manufacturers, infrastructure, waterway access and trade.
Army Corps of Engineers
The bill funds a number of dredging and maintenance programs within the Army Corps of Engineers, including $24.28 million for navigation maintenance; $30 million for inland waterways; and $50 million for small, remote or subsistence navigation, the NMMA reported.
Department of the Interior
The Department of the Interior received $13.115 billion in total funding, representing about an $863 million increase compared to last year’s funding levels.
Highlights impacting boating include $3.202 billion for the National Park Service, a $270M increase compared to fiscal year 2017 levels. Those funds include $359.704 million for the National Park Service’s construction account — a $150 million increase from last year’s levels.
The $1.332 billion allocated to the Bureau of Land Management — a nearly $80 million increase over last year — within the DOI funding also should benefit boating, the NMMA said.
The package also includes a number of provisions aimed at combating aquatic invasive species, such as requiring a new DOI report on actions and achievements regarding AIS prevention; $21.748 million of funding allocated to AIS programs, including $1 million to help states implement plans required by the National Invasive Species Act, and $2 million to prevent the spread of quagga and zebra mussels.
The South Florida Ecosystem Restoration program received $76.5 million for Everglades restoration, which will be vital in helping reestablish the historic southerly flow of water from central Florida to Florida Bay, the NMMA said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fishery Management councils and regional commissions received $35.871 million in funding, providing operation, maintenance, research and staffing to support fisheries management.
Fisheries data collection, surveys and assessments were provided $164.749 million, and the Pacific Salmon Recovery Program — which funds habitat restoration and other infrastructure projects needed to recover and increase recreationally, and commercially non-ESA listed salmon runs — received $65 million.
The bill provided $75 million for the National Coastal Zone Management Program, a $5 million increase over last year. That program works to address coastal issues including ocean planning, protecting coastal resources, and providing public access for recreation.
The National Sea Grant College Program allocation increased $2 million to $65 million.
U.S. Coast Guard
The bill provided $12.1 billion to the U.S. Coast Guard, increasing $1.7 billion compared to last year.
International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration allocation increased $12 million to $495 million; The global markets division of ITA — which has partnered with NMMA in the past to increase the U.S. boating industry’s global competitiveness — promotes American exports around the globe.
State Trade Expansion Program
The STEP program, which helps small businesses tap global markets and expand exports, received $18 million in funding. NMMA member companies have partnered with STEP.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The bill provides $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which works to clean up the Great Lakes, prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, reduce nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful algae blooms, and restore habitat to protect native species.
The bill provides increased funding for job training programs, including $10 billion for the Employment Training Administration, which includes $2.8 billion for job training grants to states and $145 million for apprenticeship grants.
It also includes $1.7 billion for Job Corps, an increase of $14.5 million over last year.