HOW WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
MIASF leadership, members of the Advocacy Committee, and professional lobbyists are each part of the team that advocates at local, state, and federal levels for and against a variety of issues that may positively or negatively affect the marine industry and recreational boating.
On the local level, MIASF has a close working relationship with city and county elected officials, regulators, and agencies, as well as civic organizations like the Broward Workshop and Downtown Coalition, to affect policies and programs that support marine businesses, such as the creation of a marine foreign trade zone, dredging the Intracoastal Waterway to a depth of 17', and highlighting infrastructure needs related to increased passenger rail on the FEC bridge to safeguard the navigability of the New River.
MIASF engages with state agencies and members of the Florida Legislature throughout the year, both in South Florida and in Tallahassee. The state level of government is especially important to monitor, as tax changes and policy decisions can severely impact individual marine businesses and the industry as a whole. In 2015 MIASF was able to successfully advocate for a sales tax cap on vessel refit and repair, spurring boat owners to repair their boats in Florida, creating additional jobs, and generating increased revenue for the State. MIASF has continued its efforts to reduce the tax further in recent years. As a participant in the Broward Days Marine Industry Impact Team, MIASF collaborates with many organizations in establishing local priorities to ensure a positive environment and business climate.
There are many issues under the umbrella of the federal government that require MIASF's attention and engagement, particularly with the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of State, including cruising licenses, crew visas, foreign-flagged vessels, and standard operating procedures for the FEC rail bridge over the New River. U.S. Senators and members of Congress are visited routinely by MIASF leaders, but especially during the association's participation in the annual American Boating Congress, a multi-day event in Washington, D.C. dedicated to boating advocacy.
The MIASF Membership Committee develops and maintains programs and services that provide valuable opportunities and benefits for members. The committee has initiated monthly, quarterly, and bi-annual events such as Maritime Monday and Member Mingle Open Houses that support networking, and Better Business Luncheons that offer timely and topical subject presentations. Dates and times for upcoming events can be found under the EVENTS tab at the top of the page.
Education & Workforce
The Education and Workforce Committee facilitates partnerships with local and regional schools and organizations to find solutions to workforce issues and to educate various target audiences on career opportunities available in the marine industry. The committee developed structured programs like the Faculty Field Trip, which includes a facility tour, river tour, and panel discussion geared specifically toward teachers, Broward Advisors for Continuing Education (BRACE) Marine Industry Day, and the annual Elevator Pitch Competition for high school juniors and seniors. Additionally, two marine magnet high schools are participating in Broward College's dual enrollment program and the first registered apprenticeship program in Florida for Yacht Service Technician was created.