"Unless Congress acts soon, every recreational boater in the country will have to obtain a federal or state permit in order to operate their boat. This means yearly fees, bureaucratic red tape, confusing and potentially state-by-state regulations, citizen suits and $32,000 per day penalties for non-compliance. These permits would apply to deck run-off, bilge water, engine cooling water and any other water-based, operational discharge from a recreational boat. The Environmental Protection Agency, due to a sweeping court order, is already writing this unprecedented new regulation on boaters.

The Clean Boating Act of 2008. U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) have just introduced S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008. S. 2766 would fully and permanently restore a 35 -year permit exemption for recreational boat incidental discharges, such as weather deck run off and engine coolant water, and works to protect the health of the nation's waterways by pursuing whether or not reasonable and practicable best management practices need to be put into place for some incidental discharges. This important bill preserves recreational boating and the boating industry, taking a balanced approached that recognizes that pleasure boat discharges are completely different from land-based industrial facilities and commercial ships."

What You Can Do Today to Protect Boating. Pier 33 strongly urges boaters to contact their Senators in Washington D.C. and tell them to co-sponsor S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008. You can quickly and easily send a letter to your Senators by visiting www.boatblue.org. Once, there, simply type in your zip code and click send. Please take 5 minutes to tell Congress to support S. 2766.