AWA Members support The California Department of Boating and Waterways Agency

Dear California AWA member,For the fourth time in the past few years there is an effort underway to eliminate the only State Agency who supports and promotes recreational boating - the Department of Boating and Waterways better known as Cal Boating.

These folks have been a steadfast friend of the PWC community and important ally in the fight in keeping California waterways open. If the Department is eliminated, all boaters including PWC riders will lose a valuable resource. Please take a moment to cut and past the following message and email it to all three of the state senators listed below. Feel free to add your own comments and encourage other boaters to do the same.

The issue here is simple simple math: California has more than 3 million boating enthusiasts, who support a $17 billion per year boating industry. With Cal Boating, you currently have a state department with a Director whose primary focus is boating. The estimated savings to the state would only be $600,000 dollars a year -- from boater funds, not the general fund.

California boaters deserve their own department. Cal Boating Saves Lives. The number of fatalities has decreased significantly duringThe past 40 years of Cal Boating’s existence.

Cal Boating receives no General Fund dollars. Its elimination will not save generalfund dollars, as the department is funded by boater fuel tax dollars, registration fees, and interest payments on infrastructure loans.

Cal Boating provides accountability, real transparency and leadership. They are responsible for the collection and reinvestment of boater-derived taxes and fees, and the best use of these funds is to benefit boating. The department carefully allocates boater revenues for state-wide boating law enforcement, safety, sanitation and other services in conjunction with a public and transparent process of the Boating and Waterways Commission.

Cal Boating’s elimination would negatively impact a minimum of $72 Millionannually in vital boating-related programs and services. The department has acompact organizational structure and administers boating programs in a timely andnon-bureaucratic manner. Its statutory charter is directly boating-related.

Cal Boating is a near-perfect example of government efficiency. If there is one bright spot on how things should work for citizens, it’s Cal Boating. The department isresponsive to clients, stakeholders, and customers; and ongoing oversight and transparency regarding the use of boaters’ dollars which support the Harbors and Watercraft Fund.

Cal Boating is nationally recognized for its high-quality Work in many areas,including its expertise in boating safety and education, and innovation in the design ofboating facilities, to name just a few. The elimination of Cal Boating has been reviewed several times and each time, rejected. It was first proposed in 1992 and again in 1996 by Governor Wilson.

In 2003 there was a legislative effort to eliminate Cal Boating as well. Clearly, the concepthas been carefully considered and rejected each and every time. We understand the importance of finding savings, but eliminating Cal Boating, would not solve any fiscal problems, and conversely jeopardize essential programs and services including such as Public Safety, Infrastructure jobs – docks, ramps, and marinas through a fund that actually pays itself back with interest.

Education - through aquatic centers, as well as boating safety curriculum and Environmental Protection – efforts to combat non-native, invasive species of aquatic plants and mollusks.

Please email the following State Senators today and urge them to vote NO on the proposal to eliminate Cal Boating. The deadline is May 8th.

Sen. Joe Simitian

Sen. John Benoit

Sen. Alan Lowenthal

Think Free.
Live Free.
Ride Free.
Chris Manthos
Executive Director
American Watercraft Association