The marina and other water access permitting programs across the country are often unclear and uncoordinated, making it difficult to create, maintain, or expand boating facilities. Because marinas and boatyards are located on waterfront property, they require permits from a variety of agencies and organizations, often with confusing and conflicting processes, timelines, and end-goals. This regulatory maze creates substantial barriers to be navigated.
Water Access Alliance (WAA) works closely with all levels of government and interested community organizations in an attempt to streamline their permitting processes. WAA’s goal is to create opportunities to simplify the permit system for development and maintenance of recreational boating facilities.
WAA is developing a national policy for the simplification of government regulatory permitting processes. As part of that policy, WAA is pursuing federal legislation that directs a percentage of boat fuel sales and Coastal Zone Management funds, along with a calculated percent for trailerable boats, be spent on water access by the states.
Also, WAA is researching and developing a catalog of all national and state permitting processes and requirements for waterfront, marina, and boating facility development. From this catalog, WAA will create best practices, models, and templates that highlight noteworthy requirements and processes that promote and expand boating access.
As an example of WAA’s success at the permitting level, WAA worked with the South Carolina State Legislature to streamline the state’s regulatory process for spending federal boating infrastructure money to make it easier for water access projects to get funding and meet permit requirements. WAA is working with local interests on similar opportunities in several states around the country.
WAA works to ensure less complex boating access permitting processes across the nation. With a friendlier permitting environment, the boating community will continue to increase public access to our nation’s waterways.
Focus Group Leader: Steve Ryder