WASHINGTON, DC — Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of government and legal affairs at the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), issued the following statement ahead of this morning’s infrastructure summit at the White House:
"We’re encouraged by today's bipartisan summit on how to address and pay for modernizing our nation’s infrastructure. It’s no secret that our country’s infrastructure system is broken, including infrastructure that powers outdoor recreation – a segment of the economy that contributes $734 billion to annual U.S. gross economic output and supports 4.5 million American jobs. Regardless of how long it takes, we urge the administration and Congress to stay at the table and reach an agreement that not only tackles traditional infrastructure, but one that contains a 'Recreation Title' addressing the needs our nation’s public lands and waters.
"Just like other industries, the outdoor recreation economy – of which recreational boating and fishing is the largest contributor – depends on adequate infrastructure to grow and prosper. Without structurally sound recreation infrastructure – including sufficient boat ramps, dredging projects, and broadband access in federally managed lands and waters – these economic contributions are at risk. Don’t let the word 'recreation' fool you; our industry is a serious part of the U.S. economy.
"With across the board consensus on the meager state of American infrastructure, it behooves elected officials to take up, pass, and sign legislation into law that cures the entire system before the end of the year. Otherwise, the entire economy will be restricted from reaching its full potential."