2008: If the
Boating Trust Fund
expires in 2009,
funding for boating
programs will plummet by 80%; state
will be crippled.
Fall 2008: BoatU.S.,
Assoc., and others
set strategy, form
“Angling & Boating
Jan. 2009: Economic
to 7.6%, federal
Defending the Trust
Fund is paramount.
is down 70%. We
lobby to retain the
Trust Fund in the
next Highway Bill.
Bill and Trust
Fund for 31 days,
until October 31,
for 42 days,
Spring 2011: “The Trust
Fund was continually threatened by budgetary and
political skirmishes that had
nothing to do with boating,”
says BoatU.S. President
Mar. 3, 2011:
Highway Bill until
Sept. 30, 2011.
Apr. 5, 2011: Congressional Sportsmen’s
Foundation (fellow Alliance member) hosts
“A Cycle of Success,” a Trust Fund briefing
on Capitol Hill, kicking off targeted visits
from Alliance lobbyists with key congressional staff, senators, and congressmen.
Sept. 13, 2011: Rough water!
A Senate legislative proposal
surfaces to eliminate state
boating safety programs from
the Highway Bill. Within 48
hours, the Alliance defeats
Sept. 15, 2011:
the Highway Bill
for another six
March 31, 2012.
THESE DAYS, WHEN IT COMES TO FEDERAL SPENDING PRO- GRAMS, one question always seems to arise on Capitol Hill: “How are you going to pay for it?” Well, nearly 30 years ago, BoatU.S. worked with members of Congress, and advocates in recreational boating and sportfishing, to create a unique federal program that remains the cornerstone of boating and fishing opportunity today: the “Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund,” funded directly by boaters and anglers through the federal excise taxes we all pay on motorboat fuel and fishing tackle, as well as by duties levied on boats imported for the U.S. market. It generates about $650 million annually.
The U.S. Coast Guard administers more than $100 million of
the fund that goes to the states for boating safety, education, and
enforcement. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages most of
the monies awarded annually to states for projects such as building public boat-launching sites; installing boat-sewage pumpout
stations; constructing transient docks, mooring fields, and related
infrastructure; and improving state-level fisheries management and
Like most federal programs, though, Congress must renew this
Trust Fund every few years, which means BoatU.S. has worked
hard to successfully defend it through six congressional reauthorization periods over three decades. For the past four years, the Trust
Fund had been caught in the shoals of contentious congressional
negotiations over a much larger transportation spending bill, known
to Americans as “The Highway Bill,” to which the Trust Fund