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Kohl to Co-Chair Senate Boating Caucus

Location: Washington, DC


Bipartisan group promotes issues affecting boating, fishing & marine industries

U.S. Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Trent Lott (R-MS) were today named co-chairs of the Senate Boating Caucus, a bipartisan group of Senators concerned with issues affecting boating, fishing, recreation and the marine industry. Wisconsin is home to more than 50 boating-related businesses employing thousands of people. There are more than one million anglers in Wisconsin and fishing-related spending on trips, gear and other purchases totals about $1 billion in the state annually, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Kohl is working to expand the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which distributes federal funds to states for such activities as stocking fish, maintaining boating access areas and boating safety education programs. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wisconsin would receive $3 million each year from the trust fund.

"We are fortunate to have as our borders two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, with countless lakes and streams in between. It's important to protect these resources and make the most of them," Kohl said. "The boating and fishing industry generates jobs, promotes tourism and provides a consistent economic boost to our state's economy."

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the state has over 15,000 inland lakes, 43,000 miles of rivers and 659 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. The state ranks among the top ten in the nation for total powerboat and related expenditures, over $500 million annually.

The Senate Boating Caucus was founded in 2001 and seeks to improve the economic viability of the industry and support the protection of the environment, boating safety and the creation of international trade opportunities for the industry. The recreational marine industry provides jobs to over 400,000 skilled employees nationwide and serves over 70 million Americans.

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