By Marie Waldron
State Assemblymember, 75th District 

"California's Recreational Boating"


Last updated 3/29/2024 at 11:18am

Summer is fast approaching, for many a time to take out the boat and head for the ocean, the nearest lake, or over to The River. But there’s more to boating than just recreation. The industry supports thousands of jobs, and has a major impact on our state’s overall economy.

California is one of the top ten boating states in the nation. Recreational boating has a $13 billion annual economic impact on California’s economy, supports over 41,000 jobs and over 2,800 businesses statewide. More than 700,000 boats are registered in California, and contrary to what many may think, boating is not just for the wealthy. Nationwide, 61% of boat owners have annual household incomes below $75,000.

Unlike many other commodities that are manufactured overseas these days, 95% of boats sold in the USA are made in the USA, and 93% of the nation’s boat manufacturers are small businesses.

I have always been a passionate advocate for boating and fishing. In 2020 I joined a bipartisan group of legislators requesting an audit of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which had been criticized for its enforcement policies that fined marinas for erroneous permit violations. The audit validated critics’ concerns, and recommended that the primary use of funding should be for bay clean-up, not enforcement staff salaries. I’ve also co-authored legislation to make sport fishing licenses valid for 12 months from the purchase date, rather than requiring annual renewal each December 31st.

Last week I participated in the 8th annual California Boating Congress, a gathering of the marine and boating industry at the State Capitol. I was honored to be presented a burgee (a recreational boating flag) for my work to preserve recreational boating and to serve as a reminder of all we must do to protect California’s beautiful 840 mile coastline.

Marie Waldron

– State Assemblymember, 75th District