These committees have produced exceptional results, including the update of a 20-year-old State Guide, the approval of a policy letter on Boating Incident Reporting, and the present review and expected approval of a policy letter on the assignment of Hull Identification Numbers. The committees and the processes supporting them allow for a collaborative approach at producing policy, whereby committees and charge teams can first make recommendations, and then NASBLA, the States, and the Coast Guard can modify the policy as needed before the policy is ultimately reviewed by the NASBLA Executive Board.
Chair Stocker and the members of the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division who were present at the meeting, Scott Kelly and Verne Gifford, agreed that these processes have allowed for critical updates to policy. Moreover, as evidenced by the newest committee, Finance and Grants, the process allows for more regular review of critical policy once it is established. The Finance and Grants Committee now continuously reviews the State Guide, which will ensure regular updates of this key document.
Chair Stocker also expressed appreciation for the rulemaking project on Inland Navigation Rules, which allows the States to once again enforce violations of navigation rules on co-jurisdictional waters.
Rear Admiral Arguin also shared stories of his time serving on the Mississippi River, a body of water that passes through many of our nation’s States, including Iowa. Chair Stocker was able to offer the outstanding opportunities this river provides, especially to fisherman and hunters. They also shared some of the challenges in keeping this group safe.
After the hour-long meeting, all participants then were involved in the Opening Ceremonies and follow-on activities for IBWSS, which provides a great opportunity for recreational boating safety leaders to spend time together.