May 2008

Nominations Sought For Recreational Boating Access Award

With more boaters having a hard time gaining access to the water, nominations for the second annual BoatU.S. Recreational Boating Access Award are now being accepted.  The award recognizes those who have succeeded in preserving or improving public waterway access.

Waterfront development, regulatory red tape, poor planning and restrictive covenants are just some of the factors contributing to the decline of waterway access for recreational boats.

"Municipalities are levying hefty tax hikes for marinas. Boat clubs and yards are assessed at highest-use rates, which makes them targets for high-density housing, and some marinas simply give up after being stymied by years of red tape required to get a permit," said BoatU.S. Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich.  

"Access also includes storage issues.  Local ordinances and property covenants increasingly prohibit boat storage — even in your own backyard," she added.

"Ultimately, the loss of boating access is a local issue.  The aim of this award is to recognize those advocates across the U.S. who are trying to reverse this trend," said Podlich.

Judges will look at four criteria: first, the challenges faced in retaining or increasing access in an area; second, the direct impact or measurable results of the solution; third, the level of success in increasing awareness of the issue in a community, and fourth, "repeatability," the ability to take the successful approach and adopt it in other areas.

Examples of solutions could include creative public/private partnerships, changes in land-use planning or permitting processes, tax incentives, legislation or public ballots, publicity or public education.  Eligible activities need to have been undertaken in the last three years.

Applications are being accepted from June 15 through Oct. 1, and winners will be announced by Oct. 31.  Previous entrants are asked not to re-apply.  For more information or a look at last year's winners, go to