By: MIASF Staff
Date posted: Dec 22, 2021 Wed
The end of the year presented a significant amount of activity. MIASF Staff, Lori Wheeler and Patience Cohn, traveled to Dealer Week to attend the Advisory Council of Marine Associations (ACMA) meeting. This annual meeting provides a platform for each region of the country to bring their legislative issues and concerns to the table to discuss and prioritize as one industry. The shared experiences and goals help everyone keep a better pulse on the entire industry throughout the year. The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), host of Dealer Week and ACMA, uses the input provided when their board of directors outlines their advocacy priorities each spring. MRAA’S 2021 priorities were protecting small business growth, promoting recreational fishing, safe boating environment and securing strong recreational infrastructure.
The Port Everglades Pilots Association hosted a tabletop “blocked channel” exercise which the MIASF participated in. It is very interesting and rewarding to watch the variety of partners work through the scenarios and solutions and see the process firsthand. The MIASF legislative team met with IYBA to discuss our federal legislative initiatives and how best to support each other.
MIASF has been given a seat on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary – Water Quality Protection Plan Steering Committee. The group is dedicated to protecting and preserving the Keys through years of research and proactive changes. We are appreciative that they have included our association to assure consistent input from the recreational boating industry.
The Broward Delegation kicked off the legislative season with a reception at the newly renovated Parker Center now called – The Parker. The venue is tasteful and maintains a lot of the old charm that made the theater unique but with many modern improvements. The speakers at the event included Broward Delegation Chair, Representative Michael Gottlieb, Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz, and Mayor Dean Trantalis.
Safe boating is an important topic around the country, and especially in Florida, as the number first-time boaters continues to climb. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Station 84 is continuing to do their part with education as they offer a Safe Boating Certificate Course each month to local boaters. We have partnered with them to use the MIASF Office every other month. Starting off 2022, the first class will be held at our office on January 15th. The most exciting news is their involvement with New River Middle School Marine Magnet Program. Station 84 has been teaching safe boating to the 6th grade class one hour a week in the classroom, and to the 7th grade class virtually so they can learn at their own pace. This project has resulted in 300 students becoming certified safe boaters!