May is always a busy month for boating with lots of fanfare around Michigan Boating Week, Safe Boating Week, National Marina Day, Memorial Day Celebrations, and many thousands of boat launches. It is also a busy month for those of us who work behind the scenes on your behalf, as we spent 3 days in Washington D.C. at the American Boating Congress. Here we scheduled meetings with Michigan Congressional leaders to talk about things that can impact you - like Ethanol in fuel, and how it destroys marine engines (and other small engines); invasive species and how they can destroy our boating and fishing opportunities in the state; the threat to our Great Lakes system should Canada move forward with building a nuclear waste depository along the shores of Lake Huron; and how the 2nd home interest deduction on boats should be protected as Congress starts to look at tax reform in our country. These issues are only a few of the many we discussed with our leadership in Washington D.C., and which we will continue to monitor and act on for the benefit of Michigan’s boaters and boating industry. If you would like to read more about these issues and others, please visit our website: www.boatmichigan.org or join our Boaters’ Association of Michigan (BAM) to start receiving regular updates: www.OnTheLake.org.
June is always equally busy with end of school functions, graduations, and for us industry folks, another important meeting – our Michigan Boating Caucus in Lansing. Here we will share information with our State Legislators outlining the importance of boating and fishing to the heritage of Michigan’s people, as well as the economic impact of boating to our state – which is an impressive $7.4 billion annually. We will also talk about Michigan’s impressive boating safety record – with one of the lowest fatality rates in the country and the third highest boat registrations in the country. And again, we will talk about important issues which affect your boating experiences and opportunities.
As busy as we all are, hopefully by now your boat is in the water and you are in full swing with your boating summer fun. I know I am more than ready to hit the water, and practice what I preach. We are fortunate to have an abundance of fresh water available to us, as well as the health benefits associated with time spent on and near it. Fishing, boating, swimming, or just being near the water provides us with a Big Blue Reset Button – a new term which explains the concepts of the book “Blue Mind” by Wallace J. Nichols. Nichols’ surprising science shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected and better at what you do. I am a believer! Be sure to spread the joy by inviting a non-boating friend or family to discover what you know to be the best way to spend time with family and friends.
Michigan Boating Industries Association