From the Captain's Chair: Hello Summer
Summer is officially here and as the customers begin to enjoy their boats in different destinations, the marine industry can take time to enjoy their personal boats with their friends and family.
The traffic on the Intracoastal is predictable and beneficial to our economy. On the other hand, vehicular traffic will continue to worsen due to lack of infrastructure. As the third largest state, Florida is positioned well to take advantage of the $1.2 trillion Federal Infrastructure Bill with $550 billion dedicated to infrastructure investments including $60 billion identified for rail projects. It’s going to take forward-thinking solutions and leadership from our elected officials as these decisions have a timeline to be made.
From an industry perspective, we remain committed to working through the analysis to determine the best local option in terms of a bridge or tunnel at the New River Crossing. A scoping study to determine the feasibility of a tunnel is officially in process. A “no build” remains the unacceptable option which was supported by the Marine Advisory Committee in a letter to the Broward County Commission. The commission is the local governing body that will take the lead on this project. Our commitment to our industry and community is unwavering.
At the start of July, the new board of directors will begin their term for MIASF. For this transition, the outgoing and retiring members and the new members came together once again at Il Paesano’s for dinner and a board meeting. Over good food and good company, the annual dinner serves as a great networking opportunity for everyone to get to know one another better, discuss current issues, and prepares the MIASF Board to set priorities for the coming year.
Exciting news was received several weeks ago. The Marine Research Hub (MRH) was formed to raise the visibility, reputation, and prestige of Florida’s oceanographic research institutions and facilitate university research and the transfer of technology into marketable goods and services. This legislative session under the guidance of industry champion Representative Chip La Marca, the MRH received $300,000 to help expand the efforts to showcase the Blue Economy in Florida.
As we look ahead, preparation for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has already begun. With some new things coming on the horizon of this year’s show and building off the success of last year’s show, we have a lot to look forward to at the end of October. We have a great partner in Informa who’s global reach is unmatched.
Rising energy costs, supply chain issues, and inflation due to interest rates are all very real issues we are facing as a country and industry. Every day we are having to find new ways of adapting our lives and businesses to work through it, as mitigating associated expenses could be as easy as throttling back on RPMs.
The Fourth of July is a great opportunity to reset and enjoy the quality of life the open for business state of Florida has afforded us. Whether it is watching the fireworks offshore, trolling through a school of dolphin or a leisure cruise in the ICW, be safe, have fun and repeat.