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Waterway Bill Could Benefit Recreational Boaters

A bill that passed the House of Representatives in late October, H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, could have benefits for recreational boaters.

"We have national highway and air transportation systems. This is the first time since 2007 that Congress is moving forward with a much needed transportation bill for our waterways, and boaters stand to gain from it," said David Kennedy, government affairs senior program coordinator for BoatUS.

According to the organization, recreational boaters will benefit from language in the bill directing the Army Corps of Engineers to target funding to emerging harbors, or those that ship less than one nillion tons of cargo annually. H.R. 3080 allocated 10 percent of the total amount of expenditures that go to waterway operation and maintenance costs to be used at these emerging harbors. "While these harbord and waterways may not carry the millions of tons of cargo of the bigger ports, they play a vital role in supporting recreational boating," said a BoatUS news release.

Additionally, the Corps is directed to assess the operation and maintenance needs of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, taking into consideration their benefits to recreation and navigation.

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