Strategic Plan of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program
James P. Muldoon, US SAILING’s Vice President of Government Relations and Chairman of the US Coast Guard’s (USCG) National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC), recently reported on the 5-year revision of the Strategic Plan of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program (RBS). This Strategic Plan contains the US Coast Guard's (USCG) performance goals aimed at reducing casualties, injuries, and property damage in the recreational boating community. The Plan contains 11 Objectives (or subject areas), among them, increasing boating safety education, increasing awareness of the navigation rules, decreasing boating under the influence, increasing life jacket wear and increasing compliance with carriage of mandatory safety equipment.
As an Implementing Partner, US SAILING is working closely with the USCG and other boating safety partners to implement certain strategies within the Plan using our existing outreach channels and as a leader in on-water boating safety education. The Strategic Plan of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program (RBS) and the Report on the Plan are both completed and published, and are available for your review on the US Coast Guard's website.
National Boating Safety Advisory Council - Resolution 2011 – 87 – 01 Appropriate Regulations for Life Jacket Wear by Recreational Boaters
On April 2, 2011, James P. Muldoon, in his capacity as Chairman of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC), signed Resolution 2011 – 87 – 01, a recommendation to the US Coast Guard (USCG) that research efforts be initiated in order to address the feasibility of mandatory life jacket wear by certain segments of the recreational boating community. The resolution also called for efforts to be made to “streamline” the current life jacket testing and approval processes, as well as, to consider the acceptance of alternative life jackets or other personal buoyant devices.
Recently, Mr. Muldoon, representing US SAILING, attended the National Boating Federation (NBF) Fall Meeting in Irving, TX on October 8, 2011. As NBF Vice President, Mr. Muldoon spearheaded dialogue which resulted in the Executive Committee passing a resolution of support for NBSAC Resolution 2011 – 87 – 01 at their meeting. NBF President Fred Poppe, sent a letter to Rear Admiral James A. Watson of the USCG expressing NBF’s support of NBSAC’s lifejacket resolution. Learn more about Resolution 2011 - 87 - 01.
88th Meeting of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council – Friday, October 14, 2011
US SAILING’s Government Relations Chair, James P. Muldoon led the 88th Meeting of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) on Friday, October 14, 2011. During this one day meeting, confirmation of Chairman Muldoon’s reappointment, as well as, the appointments of several new members of the council took place. Chuck Hawley, incoming Chair of US SAILING’s Safety-at-Sea Committee was among those appointed to the Council. A main topic of discussion was the newly revised USCG Strategic Plan. The majority of the Subcommittee Reports were administrative in nature, as many members were assigned or reassigned to various subcommittees. Follow the link to learn more about the 88th Meeting of the National Boating Safety Advisory Committee.
Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund
The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (Trust Fund) provides the critical funding support the US Coast Guard's (USCG) National Recreational Boating Safety Program (RBS) needs to achieve its goal of reducing casualties, injuries, and property damage involving recreational boaters. Congressional reauthorization of the Trust Fund is pending; US SAILING is working very closely with the USCG and the Administration to ensure that the necessary funding to continue support of the RBS program is included in the final legislation. In 2011, the Boating Safety Portion of the Trust Fund totaled over $117 million dollars to support education, law enforcement, search and rescue, and other services for the boating public.
National Association of State Boating Law Administrators 52nd Annual Conference
On September 10 – 14, 2011, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) held their 52nd Annual Conference. US SAILING’s VP of Government Relations, James Muldoon was invited to participate as a panel member in a Town Hall session to discuss the topic of mandatory life jacket wear by recreational boaters. As NBSAC Chairman, Mr. Muldoon was asked to address the rationale behind the Council’s recent passage of Resolution 2011 – 87 – 01 Appropriate Regulations for Life Jacket Wear by Recreational Boaters. Check out NASBLA website to learn more about the results of the 2011 Annual Conference.
US SAILING Grants
The Government Relations Committee continues to oversee the expansion of US SAILING’s grant program with the US Coast Guard (USCG). In mid-2011, US SAILING was awarded three grants by the USCG totaling $379,900. These grants include:
$260,000 – Drivers Education for Boaters. This is a second year extension of the powerboat grant in which US SAILING/US POWERBOATING will continue a multi‐year, phased approach to dramatically expanding participation in its Safe Powerboat Handling courses. This is being accomplished by continuing to develop and expand the number of powerboat training centers through a network of Powerboat Training Coordinators. US SAILING/US POWERBOATING developed a plan that strategically targeted regional centers in the first year phase to serve as demonstration models for new and fledgling powerboat training facilities in subsequent years. Following years will continue to support and grow the existing training centers while also supporting new facilities.
$100,000 – Course Template for On-Water Instruction for Recreational Boat Operators. The purpose of this US Coast Guard grant is to develop entry-level, skill-based standards for recreational boaters in the domain areas of sail, power and paddle. The resulting skill-based standards will represent a consensus of opinion from multiple nationally recognized boating education organizations. The seated grant team includes 36 Subject Matter Experts (SME) comprised of Oversight and Grant Advisory Committees, Power Team Specialists, nine Domain (Sail, Power, Paddle) Team Leaders, and 18 Domain Team Members. James P. Muldoon and Timothea Larr of US SAILING along with Pete Chisholm of Mercury Marine comprise the Oversight Committee. The first of two Summits was held on October 15, 2011 in Arlington, VA. Summit II will be held during the International Boating and Water Safety Summit in San Diego, CA on March 7-8, 2012.
$19,900 – Partnering Grant. This USCG grant continues to support the strengthening of existing partnerships as well as the development of new relationships with other organizations in the recreational boating arena. The synergy of these partnerships is used to collaboratively upgrade the content and performance evaluation of existing boating safety training materials. Additionally, it mobilizes US SAILING and its partners’ extensive expertise to deliver premier boating safety training, particularly on-the-water training, to an ever increasing number of recreational boaters nationwide.
FY 2012 National Non-Profit Public Service Organization Boating Safety Program – Applications Accepted until January 27, 2012
The US Coast Guard (USCG) published the National Non-Profit Public Service Organization, Boating Safety Grant Program notice on October 13, 2011, encouraging all 501 (c)(3) non-profits, other than institutions of higher education, to apply for funding of a program that can help reduce boating deaths, injuries or property damage. The National Recreational Boating Safety Program (RBS) is welcoming all initiatives that assist in the goal of reducing casualties, and would like applicants to focus on partnering with other organizations. Nearly $5.7 million is available for funding the non-profit organization grants; however, up to 5% of the total funds are available to support boating safety programs. The expected number of awards is estimated at 30 – 40, with the application process normally taking roughly 120 days. The application deadline is January 27, 2012, by midnight in order for applications to be considered. Learn more about the National Non-Profit Public Service Organization, Boating Safety Grant Program.
Global Positioning System – The 2nd Revision to a Plan Set to Disrupt GPS
James P. Muldoon, Vice President of US SAILING’s Government Relations Committee, in an effort to keep all US SAILING members informed of current boating issues has been monitoring the ongoing developments that occur in the fight to save our Global Positioning System (GPS). On Wednesday, September 28, 2011, a LightSquared representative gave a presentation at the GMDSS Task Force meeting held at the 2011 National Marine Electronics Association Conference and Expo in Ft. Myers, Fla. The second revision of the company’s original proposal is offering two solutions in their attempt to solve the devastating effects that the 4G-LTE Broadband System could have on the existing Global Positioning System (GPS). The company has now proposed using filters on GPS receivers as one solution, and adding a 23 megahertz band of the frequency spectrum as the other. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has continued the hold on its conditional waiver as more tests are being called for with each new revision proposed by LightSquared. To learn more about the solutions proposed by LightSquared, please visit http://www.lightsquared.com/press-room/press-releases/lightsquared-shows-filtering-technology/
Ethanol Blended Gasoline – Amendment to Stop E15 Fuel Funding Pulled from Senate
Another setback in the boating community’s struggle to stop ethanol blended gasoline use in marine engines occurred on Thursday, October 20, 2011. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) pulled his amendment to the Senate’s U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) budget for 2012, which was set to prevent federal funding for ethanol – and – gasoline blending pumps. Testing performed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has shown that E-15 blended gasoline will negatively affect marine engines and fiberglass fuel tanks that are from older generations; the era from which the majority of the equipment by recreational boaters is used. A positive outlook on the situation is that it is still unlawful to fuel marine engines with gasoline that contains more than 15% ethanol by volume. However, to help mitigate the potential for misfiling marine equipment with E-15, stations that qualify for the dispensing of E-15 will also have to place a warning label at the pumps. Learn more and find updates from the EPA on E-15 Blended Gasoline’s harmful effect on your marine engine.
National Sailing Hall of Fame First Induction Ceremony – October 23, 2011
On Sunday, October 23, 2011, the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) held its Inaugural Induction Ceremony at the San Diego Yacht Club. The NSHOF recognized 15 Americans that have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing by inducting them to the first class of the hall of fame. US SAILING President Gary Jobson was among those selected from a candidate pool of over 130 nominations. US SAILING’s Government Relations Chair, James P. Muldoon serves as Vice President of the NSHOF. Past President Janet Baxter and Board of Directors Member Dawn Riley serve on the NSHOF Honorary Advisory Committee. Learn more about the Inaugural Class to the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit us at www.ussailing.org .