Yesterday, we informed you of an amendment to S-1578, proposed by Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D), that would help circumvent recreational boaters from the regulatory requirements of the discharge of incidental water under the Clean Water Act . The Senate mark-up of the bill was held today, and there's good news and bad news.
The bad news is that the amendment proposed by Senator Nelson was withdrawn, so this particular piece of legislation will not be the solution that we seek.
The good news is that each Senator that commented on Nelson's amendment agreed that this was an unnecessary problem for recreational boaters and it needed to be fixed. Even Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) stated, for the record, that she would work with Senator Nelson to find a solution before the proposed EPA regulations go into effect next year.
Even though it appears that we lost this particular battle, we actually gained some important ground. The Senate is aware of how important this issue is, and they are committed to fix it.
To all of you that took the initiative to contact your representatives, a huge THANKS! When we speak out as a group, things start to happen.
Mamie Parker, Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recently quoted an African Proverb that fits this scenario perfectly. "If you think you are too small
to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito."