Does the outdoor industry, which includes recreational activities such as boating and fishing (including houseboating), matter to the U.S. economy? With Senate passage of the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016 on November 28, the answer is yes, according to BoatUS. The national boating advocacy, services and safety organization also says boaters may stand to gain from this bill and hopes for the president’s signature before the end of the year.
The bill instructs the Department of Commerce and federal land management agencies to provide statistics on the boating industry’s impact at their agencies. This information is used to tabulate U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) data. According to the American Recreation Coalition, outdoor recreation represents over six million jobs and $646 million in economic activity annually.
“If recreational boating, as part of the outdoor industry, has its economic impact measured and highlighted, it could help support funding for improvements in recreational boating,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy. “The passage of the Act will also help policymakers at all levels of government understand the importance of the recreational boating and sport fishing industries.”