Nominations Sought For BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award

ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 9, 2010 - With boaters in some parts of the country continuing to have a hard time gaining access to the water, the nation's largest boat owners group, BoatUS, wants to honor model waterway access projects. The fourth annual BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award is designed to help spread the word about these successful initiatives.

With nominations now open until October 1, 2010, the BoatUS Recreational Boating Access Award recognizes those individuals or groups who have succeeded in preserving or improving public waterway access.

"Ultimately, boating access is a local issue and this award recognizes those advocates across the U.S. who are succeeding in reversing the trend towards declining waterway access," said BoatUS President Nancy Michelman. "We'll share those success stories with others so that they may also learn how to preserve or improve boating access in their area."

Waterfront residential development, regulatory red tape, increased taxes, poor land-use planning and restrictive zoning are just some of the factors contributing to the decline of waterway access for recreational boats.

"Some municipalities are levying hefty tax hikes for marinas. Boat clubs and repair yards are often assessed at highest-use tax rates, which can be the last nail in the coffin for a marina. Some marina operators simply give up after being stymied for years by miles of red tape required to get a permit to dredge, maintain or expand docks," added Michelman.

Judges will look at four criteria: First, the challenges faced in retaining or increasing access in an area; Second, the direct impact or measurable results of the solution; Third, the level of success in increasing awareness of the importance of boating access to a community and; Fourth, "repeatability," the ability to use the successful approach as a model for other areas.

Examples of solutions could include creative public/private partnerships, changes in land-use planning or permitting processes, tax incentives, legislation or public ballots, publicity or public education. Eligible activities must have been undertaken in the last three years.

The deadline for applications is October 1, 2010 and winners will be announced by October 31. For more information or a look at previous winners, go to . Previous entrants are asked not to reapply.