Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect North Atlantic Right Whales While Protecting Recreational Boating Access

Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have introduced new, bipartisan legislation to protect recreational boaters and anglers and North Atlantic right whales. The legislation takes key steps toward the adoption of real-time location monitoring technologies to ensure boaters remain a safe distance from right whales and other marine wildlife.

Why it matters: Overly burdensome rules proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) threaten to upend America’s coastal boating communities. NOAA’s misguided proposal would implement new restrictions on boaters that will significantly impact the nation’s recreational marine industry as well as countless coastal businesses recreational boating and fishing.

  • Senators Manchin and Boozman are taking a different approach. Their bipartisan proposal takes a more balanced and measured angle by expanding and investing in proven technologies that will help locate right whale populations. The legislation will empower regulators to take targeted action to protect right whales, while ensuring that Americans can still safely enjoy recreational boating and fishing has to offer.

What they’re saying: “I’m pleased to join Senator Manchin on this legislation to encourage a reasonable solution for safeguarding the right whale population without imposing overly restrictive mandates and inviting unintended consequences,” said Senator Boozman.

The big picture: The recreational boating and fishing community is taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of both boaters and anglers and right whales.

  • By working with the recreational boating and fishing community and marine biologists to drive innovation and expand real-time monitoring technologies, recreational boaters and North Atlantic right whales will be able to coexist in our shared waters.

Go deeper: Read more on how this new bipartisan legislation will protect North Atlantic right whales while preserving recreational boating and fishing access by clicking here.