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06714_SS_1213_AD_BOATUS_HALFPAGE.indd 1 10/30/13 9:09 AM DECEMBER 2013 BoatU.S. Magazine | 27
outside the box when trying to conduct
the dredging necessary to maintain channels and waterways. In Michigan, Governor
Snyder signed a bill that invested $20.9
million into dredging 58 public bays and
harbors last summer. The shallow-draft inlets
of North Carolina were also a concern for
the Tar Heel State. BoatU.S. worked with
the North Carolina legislature to retool a bill
that would have placed the cost of dredging
shallow-draft inlets squarely on the shoulders
of recreational boat owners through a drastic
registration fee hike. Instead, commercial
boaters will pay into the dredging fund and
a higher percentage of fees already allocated
through the state gas tax will be set aside.
States will continue to leave no stone
unturned in their pursuit to find the neces-
sary funds to keep waterways safe and navi-
gable. States that haven’t raised their boater
registration or titling fees recently may look
to raise revenue for projects once maintained
by the now underfunded Army Corps of
Engineers by increasing these fees. This will
be particularly true for states maintaining
large dredging projects, or those that have
experienced record-low water levels over the
last few summers.
Boating-law administrators in charge of
keeping the peace on the water may look to
align penalties for boating under the influ-
ence, and leaving the scene of a boating
accident with those of roadway violations.
Additionally, some states will look at penaliz-
ing or removing road driving rights for those
who are repeat offenders of BUI laws.
As watersports grow and wake heights
with them, states will attempt to keep both
waterfront landowners and boat owners with
ballasted boats happy by setting buffer zones
between the two. Watersport and leisure
boats that pull towables will also need to
monitor new laws that will count the weight
of ballast tanks or riders on towables toward
the total weight capacity assigned to safely
operate your boat.
With increased awareness of Electric
Shock Drowning (ESD), more states may
seek to address this problem by mandat-
ing ground-fault interrupters for docks.
ESD occurs in fresh water when alternat-
ing current (AC) leaks from boats or docks
and creates an electrical field where people
Very small amounts of electrical cur-
rent can cause heart fibrillation or para-
lyze swimmers, resulting in drown-
ing. For more information on ESD, go to
Nicole Palya Wood is a member of our BoatU.S.
Government Affairs Team.
BOATU.S. REPRESENTS YOUR INTERESTS
WITH BOATS AND BOATING activities changing every year, state laws must evolve. BoatU.S. will be here for you along the way, working to ensure that proposed changes are practical and realistic. If you’d like to receive
a “heads up” on boating proposals that may affect you, please sign up for BoatU.S.
Government Affairs email alerts, and check out our website for more information
on all government affairs issues affecting you: www.BoatUS.com/Gov