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    • AIWA E-News April 2021

      Cruisers Net is proud to be a member of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association whose lobbying work is crucial to keeping the Waterway navigable and safe. Your membership dollars directly support their vital work. Please join and encourage your boating neighbors to do likewise, regardless of their homeport. 

      April 2021 Newsletter

      AIWA Advocacy and Federal Appropriations Update

      On April 9th, President Biden sent his Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 “skinny” budget to Congress. A “skinny” budget is typically released in a new president’s first year as a precursor to a more comprehensive budget. This condensed budget usually only contains top-line numbers while highlighting key priorities. A more comprehensive budget that provides program specific allocations is expected to be released in May.

      Congress has also continued to move forward in their Appropriations Process. One new development is that while both the Democrats in the Senate, and the Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives, agreed to Community Project Funding (earmarks), the Republicans in the Senate adopted rules banning earmarks. Nonetheless, the Republican leadership remarked that it would be up to each member to decide if they want to submit CPF’s. It leaves open to interpretation of the “we wish you wouldn’t, but…” rather than a true earmark ban.
      In April, we continued to contact each of the Congressional offices along the waterway as many of the Members have historically supported our funding requests and we hoped they would again. We also approached new Members to make our case. We were invited to hold separate virtual meetings this month with Rep. David Rouzer and Rep. Greg Murphy of North Carolina alone with our AIWA Board Members. The meetings went well and both members are strong supporters of our requests.

      We also worked to secure signatures for our bipartisan delegation letter for funding in the House of Representatives version of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for FY2022 under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Account. Our requests included $75 million each for Navigation Maintenance, Inland Waterways, and Small, Remote, or Subsistence Navigation. These are the additional funding needs that are used to supplement the amounts allocated in the President’s budget.

      Our efforts to secure support along with other stakeholder groups led to 10 Congressional offices in five states— Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey.  While this is fewer members than in 2020, we are hopeful that members may make individual CPF requests for direct funding for their section of the waterway. We are also working to make the case for funding with U.S. Senate offices as their process is ongoing. We expect more progress (and Congressional interest) as soon as the President releases the full Administration Budget. Please view image below to access the full delegation letter.


      AIWA On the “Virtual” Road!

      Partnerships and collaboration can’t wait for travel to resume and meetings to move back in-person, so Brad Pickel, AIWA Executive Director, virtually represented the Association in three recent National and Regional Meetings. Below are highlights from each:

      National Waterways Conference Legislative Summit

      The AIWA is a long-standing member and participant in the National Waterways Conference and NWC held their Legislative Summit virtually on April 8-9. Speakers included representatives from the Biden Administration’s Assistant Secretary of the Army’s Civil Works office, and the Office of Management and Budget. These groups are responsible for making the final recommendations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budget before it is sent by the President to Congress.

      We heard from representatives on a Congressional panel of Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff regarding water related issues and legislation along with the   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Staff regarding their current activities. In addition were presentations including best practices for how to more effectively engage virtually with our members of Congress and staff. Information gleaned from this meeting is being used to tailor our advocacy approaches for federal funding this year.

      American Boating Congress

      On April 21-22, nearly 400 recreational boating advocates joined together for the 2021 American Boating Congress.  Hosted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and sponsored by many AIWA members, ABC participants heard from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, White House Senior Policy Advisor Cedric Richmond, key policymakers on Capitol Hill, influential staff, and gained valuable insights into work at the state level to elevate the outdoor recreation industry as well as across the nation.

      N.C. Beach, Inlet and Waterway Association Local Government Meeting

      On April 27, Brad presented to NCBIWA attendees on AIWA’s initiatives. Highlights of his presentation included the Appropriations process while highlighting the current projects and backlog in North Carolina. We look forward to continuing our partnership with NCBIWA and their meeting this fall.

      President Biden nominates Michael Connor for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works

      On April 27th, President Biden nominated Michael Connor for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works at the U.S. Department of Defense. According to the White House press release, Connor is currently a partner with the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Door, LLP. Prior to his legal work, he served as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) from 2014-2017 during the Obama Administration. At DOI, he oversaw the agency’s work on drought and water policy, as well as renewable energy on public lands and other issues. 

      Mr. Connor will have to go through multiple committee hearings and votes prior to a confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate. If confirmed, he will be responsible for overseeing the civil works functions for the U.S. Army which includes the Corps of Engineers. This position was previously held by Mr. R.D. James and Ms. Jo Ellen Darcy in the previous two Administrations. Learn more from the White House Press Release.

      Photo courtesy ©️Turbosquid
      AIWA Membership Drive ⚓️ 
      1,000 Boaters Campaign extended for the Year! 

      Our 1,000 Boaters Campaign had a great impact to our membership roles as today, April 30, we reach the end of the new administration’s first 100 days.

      Given our momentum, we are extending our campaign to continue the entire first year of the new administration. Join now to lend your support to have our ‘Voice of the Waterway’ heard in Washington, DC.

      Your contribution of $25 for an individual membership — less than a day’s provisions for a boat trip on the water — supports our ability to raise awareness of the value of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW). 

        *Each new boater member receives an ICW sticker to show your support.
      Click Here to Donate $25 to the AIWA Boater Campaign
      🎧 Listen & Learn on the ASPN 🌎

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      Copyright © 2021. Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association. All rights reserved.

      AIWA The Unified Voice of the Waterway ~ Over 20 Years of Advocacy and Education 

      The AIWA is a national non-profit organization with the mission of securing funding and support for the maintenance of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. We are the only organization dedicated to ensuring the future of the AIWW and proudly represent all stakeholders of the waterway. 

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