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    • AIWA E-News July 2020

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

       
      Federal Appropriations Update

      GOOD NEWS! On July 31st, the U.S. House of Representatives approved over $7.63 billion for the U.S. Army Corps Engineers Civil Works Program in their passage of H.R. 7617. The Corps funding for Energy & Water Development was included in an FY21 appropriations bill that was combined with five appropriation packages for other federal agencies and programs, also called a minibus appropriations bill. The H.R. 7617 minibus bill included funding packages for Commerce-Justice-Science, Defense, Financial Services and General Government, Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, Transportation-Housing and Urban Development.

      Diving into the details of how this impacts the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW), the Corps received their funding broken into the following accounts:
      Investigations- $151 million
      Construction- $2.6 billion
      Operation & Maintenance- $3.84 billion
      Other- $1.039 billion

      Since the AIWW is an existing federal project, we receive our funding through the Operation & Maintenance Account. This year, the individual allocations included in the Administration’s Budget are:
      VA – $685,000 for Dismal Swamp Canal & $1.262 million for the Albemarle-Chesapeake Canal
      NC – $3.625 million
      SC – $100,000
      GA – $202,000
      FL – $380,000
      Total for AIWW – $6.254 million  

      The House also included the following mini-pots for Additional Dredging Needs where we can compete for additional funding for AIWW projects this coming year. In our advocacy efforts, we asked that the mini-pots be $75 million each, which was a larger request than we had previously received.

      Navigation – $5.7 billion ($40.156 Million in FY20)
      Inland Waterway- $55 million (same as FY20)
      Small, Remote or Subsistence Navigation- $65 million (same as FY20)

      While the numbers were less than requested in two categories (but equal to their FY20 allocation), Navigation funding well exceeded our request and is being envisioned to fund waterway infrastructure projects that will provide a stimulus to the U.S. economy during the current pandemic and recession. Overall, the Corps funding included over $17 billion in emergency funding including the $5 billion in the Navigation mini-pot listed above.

      Looking ahead, this completes the process for the House until the Senate proposes their appropriation bills and approves them. Once the Senate completes their process, the two legislative bodies will need to agree on a final compromise (a Conference Bill) and the House and Senate will need to vote to approve the Conference Bill and the President will need to sign the Bill. Since it is a Presidential election year and FY21 begins on October 1, 2020, we do not expect the appropriations process to be completed before the new fiscal year begins. Therefore, Congress will need to pass a Continuing Resolution to continue funding the federal government at FY20 levels until the new bills are passed or we would have a government shutdown. We will be tracking the next few months in Washington, D.C. and we will continue to keep our membership informed.

       
      From our friends at NMMA, please find below a press release on the historic Great American Outdoors Act.
       
      Historic Boating Access and Conservation Bill Approved by Congress
       

      On July 22, 2020 in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act – legislation that will stimulate the recreational boating industry and create more safe and sustainable recreation access for all Americans. The bill – which is expected to be signed by the President in the coming days – follows years of advocacy by the outdoor recreation community, including NMMA and boating industry stakeholders. The Great American Outdoors Act addresses two long-standing priorities of the outdoor recreation community. First, it fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund – a go-to program for conserving and maximizing outdoor recreation access. Second, the bill tackles the maintenance backlog on our public lands and waters by investing in boating infrastructure like docks, ramps and parking facilities. 

      “With more Americans flocking to boating in the era of social distancing, the Great American Outdoors Act is the shot in the arm we need to continue delivering the memorable experiences and significant economic impact our industry provides, including more than 35,000 businesses and 700,000 American jobs,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “We applaud Congress for coming together in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner on legislation that ensures both local economies and families can reap the benefits of outdoor recreation activities for generations to come.” “From Boating United and social media, to coalition letters and virtual meetings with members of Congress, the recreational boating industry – in concert with our outdoor recreation community partners – showed exactly what can be accomplished when we all work together to advance a top advocacy priority,” said Nicole Vasilaros, NMMA senior vice president of government and legal affairs. “Thanks to the tireless work of countless NMMA members and boating industry stakeholders, the Great American Outdoors Act is the law of the land, which will allow more American to get out on the water today and beyond.” Learn more at nmma.org

       

      AIWA Members Receive 20% Off Aqua Map Bundles

      AQUA MAP is now partnering with the AIWA to offer 20% off their software bundles. AIWA Executive Director Brad Pickel has used the Aqua Map App extensively throughout the Lowcountry of South Carolina and highly recommends the Aqua Map App 👍🏼. We hope our AIWA membership will take advantage of this opportunity. Learn more on this Special Limited Time Offer from Aqua Map by clicking here.
       
       
       
      ⛴ 📍🛳 Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Inspection Tour © 2020.
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      Copyright © 2020. 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. 

      Contact:
      5A Market, Beaufort, South Carolina 29906  (843) 379-1151

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