Boaters can help save their "working waterfront"

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Working waterfronts are a dying breed. With developer's eyes on waterfront parcels, water-dependent businesses such as marinas, boatyards, commercial fishing operations, boatbuilders and charter boat fleets are getting pushed out from the only place they can do business. A bill now in Congress would provide federal funding to coastal and Great Lakes states to help preserve and protect working waterfronts. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) urges boaters and anglers to contact their members of Congress to co-sponsor and support H.R. 2548, the "Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act of 2009."

Introduced in May by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and co-sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., the legislation would allow local governments to use federal grant funds to purchase a threatened marina outright or a non-profit group to obtain a grant to buy development rights in order to keep a working boatyard in business, rather than see it sold for residential development.

For information on the bill as well as suggestions for writing your member of Congress, go to www.BoatUS.com/workingwaterfronts.

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