New legislation introduced to support coastal economies by delaying funds for NOAA rule

Georgia Representative Buddy Carter (R) and Alaska Representative Mary Peltola (D) have introduced new, bipartisan legislation to halt  sweeping vessel speed restrictions proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Driving the News: The new proposed rule threatens to severely limit access to recreational boating and fishing across the Atlantic Coast. The restriction would expand a 10 knot speed limit to all boats 35 feet and greater in Atlantic waters from Massachusetts to central Florida.

  • Reps. Carter and Peltola are working to halt this restriction by delaying funding for NOAA’s proposed rule until the Department of Commerce can fully implement new monitoring systems for North Atlantic right whales.

Why it Matters: The original restriction was intended to target major ocean liners and cargo ships, but NOAA’s proposed expansion would impact an estimated 63,000 recreational boats along the Atlantic Coast.

What They’re Saying: “Like most of my colleagues, I am concerned about the long-term health of our marine mammal populations, including the North Atlantic Right Whale,” said Rep. Peltola. “This rule, however, has too many potential unintended consequences for small boat operators who need flexibility to maintain their safety at sea.”

The Big Picture: The US recreational boating industry has an annual impact of $230 billion, supporting more than 36,000 businesses – most of which are small businesses. The industry also generates 812,000 American jobs.

  • The vessel speed restrictions proposed by NOAA would threaten thousands of jobs and have devastating consequences for local economies, particularly those along the Atlantic Coast. The bipartisan bill will help ensure that coastal economies are protected.

Go Deeper: Read more on how Reps. Carter and Peltola are supporting recreational boating and fishing, while also protecting local economies by clicking here.