|Press Releases | Search DNR | DNR Home|
Boating Industry Task Force Makes Recommendations
Expanding Marine Industry and Extending the Stay of Visiting Boaters Among Recommendations
Annapolis, Md. (Jan. 22, 2009) — The Task Force to Study the Boating Industry in Maryland recently submitted its 2008 Legislative Report to Governor Martin O’Malley, members of the Maryland General Assembly, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin.
“Maryland’s boating industry is a major economic engine in our State, providing a wide array of services to both resident and visiting recreational boaters,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication displayed by the task force’s members as they developed ideas to address the challenges facing Maryland’s boating industry.”
The Task Force’s report offers specific recommendations on marketing Maryland waters to the out-of- state boating public and creating a more positive environment to grow and expand Maryland’s marine industry.
“Recreational boating is a popular activity in Maryland,” said Senator John Astle, Chairperson of the Task Force. “Over the past eight years, the number of registered boats in Maryland has remained stagnant and has recently started to decline. The Task Force was charged with evaluating and making recommendations regarding protecting and growing the boating industry in Maryland.”
Highlights of the Task Force’s recommendations include:
- Proposing legislation to allow matching funds for grants to be used for supplies and equipment that support best management practices at privately-owned DNR Certified Clean Marinas.
- Explore creating a single boat use permit for publicly-owned boat ramps and landings, registering non-powered vessels and using the sales tax captured in the Waterway Improvement Fund.
- Supporting the Marine Trades Association of Maryland’s (MTAM) effort to create a new consumer website marketing Maryland’s recreational boating opportunities.
- Asking the Department of Legislative Services to conduct an analysis of options for extending the stay of the transient boater in Maryland, while protecting the integrity of the Waterway Improvement Fund.
- Broadening the State’s definition of commercial waterfront property to include facilities that require direct access to, or location on the water; public marinas, boat ramps, boat hauling and repair services, waterfront recreational facilities and commercial fishing services.
- Expanding the federal definition of “commerce” to include marinas and tourism.
“Members of the task force, while representing divergent constituencies, came together to evaluate Maryland’s boating industry and find practical ways to improve and modernize the State’s efforts,” said Susan Zellers of the Marine Trades Association of Maryland. “We believe these proposed improvements will help the industry through new and enhanced policies, programs, initiatives and statutory changes.”
Chapter 523 was enacted during the 2007 Legislative Session to establish the Task Force to study the Boating Industry in Maryland. The Task Force was charged with evaluating and making recommendations regarding protecting and growing the boating industry in Maryland
For the full report, visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/dnrnews/pdfs/boating_task_force_report.pdf
January 22, 2009
Contact: Ray Weaver
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov