RBOC Supporting Bill to Provide 365-day Sportfishing License

RBOC is supporting AB 1387 [Wood], legislation proposing a 365-day sportfishing license.

RBOC supports the objectives and provisions of the bill that would work to:

  •  Recruit, retain, and reactivate recreational anglers

  •  Increase revenues to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for conservation efforts, fishery management, and increased hatchery production

  • Provide economic benefits to the people of the state

By issuing 365-day sport fishing licenses, implementing a new Automated License Data System (ALDS) that has an auto-renewal feature and enables licenses and validations to be displayed on mobile devices such as smartphones, and establishing email communication with recreational anglers, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will drive sales and be able to proactively solicit prospective licensees to achieve the goals of the department’s recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) program.

RBOC President Ray Durazo Presents at California Boating Congress

At the 4th Annual California Boating Congress, RBOC President Ray Durazo presented the concerns of the boating community with the overreaching enforcement efforts of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission [BCDC]. 

As explained by President Durazo, the organization is supporting the timely completion and publication of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee’s audit of BCDC that is investigating the commission’s enforcement activities, adherence to its mission, funding and operational needs and structure.

In addition, RBOC is advocating for a revision to BCDC’s statutory charter to recognize, protect and enhance recreational boating, and to reflect the structure of the Coastal Commission regarding the number and appointment of commissioners.

RBOC was a proud co-host of this year’s California Boating Congress.

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RBOC Lobbies State Legislators on 2019 Boating Issues

Recreational Boaters of California [RBOC] held its annual legislative day in Sacramento on February 27, with attendees visiting and advocating on the 2019 state legislation in more than 40 meetings in the offices of Senators and Assembly Members in the State Capitol.

Constituent and issue-specific meetings with state legislators covered an array of policy issues directly impacting boaters including:

  • State Parks Reorganization Plan

  • Boater Funds Dedicated to Boater Programs

  • Regulatory Overreach [BCDC]

  • Copper-based Anti-fouling Paints

  • Boating and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta [California WaterFix]

  • Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation – AB 1111 [Friedman]

  • Statutory Definition of Boat Operator – AB 1183 [Ramos]

  • Vessel Impoundment – BUI – SB 393 [Stone]

  • Boater Rights Aboard Their Vessels – AB 1718 [Levine] and SB 8 [Glazer]

  • Chemical Toilet Deodorants – SB 317 [Caballero]

  • 12-Month Fishing Licenses – AB 1227 [Obernolte] and AB 1387 [Wood]

For the Boater Issue Update on these issues: click here

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RBOC Elects Ray Durazo as 2019 President

The Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC), the statewide non-profit boater advocacy organization based in Sacramento, announced the election of a new president, Ray Durazo of Half Moon Bay.  Mr. Durazo succeeds the group’s 2018 president, John Marshall of Newport Beach.  Also elected to office for 2019 are Vice President - South Dan Hodge of Newport Beach, and Vice President – North Paul Clausen of Orangevale.

“I’m proud and excited to be leading this strong and effective organization in the coming year,” said Durazo.  “I encourage boaters and members of clubs throughout California to learn more about RBOC. You can do so at the organization’s website www.RBOC.org.”

Mr. Durazo has extensive experience in government relations and public policy.  Since 1970 he has worked in that capacity for trade associations, as a senior vice president for a major international consulting firm in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, and as owner and operator of Durazo Communications, a public relations firm headquartered in Los Angeles.  He is a Fellow of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

He is an accomplished blue-water sailor, having sailed in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, in the United States and in Mexico and the British Virgin Islands.  He has served as Commodore of the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club in Northern California and has been active in the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association (PICYA).  In addition, he is currently serving on the Boat U.S. National Advisory Council.

Mr. Durazo resides with his wife in Half Moon Bay, California.

RBOC works to protect and enhance the interests of the state’s recreational boaters before the legislative and executive branches of state and local government.  In 2019, RBOC is celebrating its 51st anniversary.

Proposed Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Passes Senate Policy Committee

Legislation to establish a new Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation has passed the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water.

RBOC testified in committee in support of AB 1918 [Garcia]. The organization supports the measure provided that the measure is not amended or implemented in a manner that would redirect state boating fees and taxes from programs and services that benefit the states’ recreational boaters.

RBOC acknowledges and supports the objective of AB 1918 to promote sustainable outdoor recreation as well as economic development and job growth within the outdoor recreation economy.

California offers remarkable, extensive and unique recreational opportunities. Californians – including recreational boaters - understand and appreciate the intrinsic value of outdoor recreation, its contributions to the economy including jobs and tourism, and the opportunities to grow each of these values. 

This perspective has already become integrated into the very fabric of state government in many ways. A decision to establish a new entity in government is properly predicated upon the foundation established by these significant initiatives, respects the tremendous financial commitments that our citizens continue to contribute each year, and focuses on clear new objectives that cannot be achieved through existing efforts.

RBOC-supported Boating Safety Law Enforcement Measure Passes Committee

The RBOC-supported AB 2175 [Aguiar-Curry] that would enhance boating safety law enforcement efforts has passed the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 2175 that would enhance boating safety by clarifying law enforcement’s ability to remove and store vessels under specified circumstances. The bill would: 

  • Authorize a peace officer or marine safety officer, while engaged in the performance of official duties, to remove a vessel from, and, if necessary, store a vessel removed from, public property within the territorial limits in which the officer may act, under specified circumstances relating to the use of the vessel in the commission of a crime.
  • Authorize a court to order a person convicted of a crime involving the use of a vessel that is removed and impounded pursuant to these provisions to pay the costs of towing and storage of the vessel and any related administrative costs imposed in connection with the removal, impoundment, storage, or release of the vessel.

The measure is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association.

RBOC Supports Objective of Legislation Proposing Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation

RBOC is expressing to the author and proponents of AB 1918 [Garcia] the organization's support for the concept of promoting sustainable outdoor recreation as well as economic development and job growth within the outdoor recreation economy. AB 1918 proposes the establishment of a new Office of Sustainable Outdoor Recreation.

RBOC is also advocating that there are open questions and key issues that must be answered and addressed as legislation is pursued to create this new entity in state government. These include:

  • The position of the new office in state government – The exact position of the office within the Natural Resources Agency must be stated clearly in the legislation. This will enable stakeholders and interested parties to understand the standing of the proposed office and its relationship with other entities. 
  • The functions of the new office - It is important that the functions of the new office be very clear in the law, and that those functions do not impede, supersede, cannibalize or duplicate the important functions currently performed by other entities of state government. 
  • The funding of the new office –  It is important that the sources of public funding are set forth in the legislation, existing fees and taxes paid by recreational boaters are not re-directed to the office, and the office does not have statutory authority to impose fees on recreational boaters.

California offers remarkable, extensive and unique recreational opportunities. Californians – including recreational boaters - understand and appreciate the intrinsic value of outdoor recreation, its contributions to the economy including jobs and tourism, and the opportunities to grow each of these values. 

This perspective has already become integrated into the very fabric of state government in many ways. A decision to establish a new entity in government should be predicated upon the foundation established by these significant initiatives, respect the tremendous financial commitments that our citizens continue to contribute each year, and focus on clear new objectives that cannot be achieved through existing efforts.

RBOC appreciates being part of this dialogue, and looks forward to further discussions.

RBOC Participates in California Boating Congress

RBOC co-hosted the successful February 27 California Boating Congress in the State Capital, with its leadership participating and also co-presenting on the topic of the new California Boating Card.

Pictured from left to right below are RBOC Immediate Past President - Director Peter Robertson, Past President - Director Greg Gibeson, President John Marshall, and Ex Officio Director David Kennedy with RBOC's national partner BoatUS.

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RBOC Directors Lobby 2018 Boating Issues in State Capitol

RBOC Board of Directors at California State Capitol on February 21, 2018

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RBOC Celebrates 50 Year Anniversary

 

The Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC), a non-profit organization based in Sacramento, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018. Launched in 1968, the group has been actively protecting boaters’ rights before the state’s legislative and regulatory bodies for half a century.

RBOC was formed as a joint undertaking by the Pacific Inter-Club Yachting Association (PICYA) and the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) to serve as the boating community’s advocate on governmental actions that impact the ability of boaters throughout the state to access lakes, inland waterways and coastal waters.

Since its inception, RBOC has worked on legislation and regulations that have touched every aspect of boating such as boating-related programs and services provided by the state, as well as decisions on how fuel taxes and registration fees paid by boaters are used, among other vital issues.

Today, RBOC receives funding and volunteer support from nearly 200 yacht clubs throughout the state. The organization also receives support from BoatUS and numerous individual donors.

The organization is governed by an 18-member Board of Directors comprised of 9 members from the northern part of California and 9 from southern California. All officers and directors have a distinguished background in boating and a record of service to the state’s boating community.

RBOC’s lobbying efforts are supported by a professional firm in Sacramento, Desmond & Desmond LLC, headed by Jerry Desmond, Director of Government Relations.

Key Legislation Update - As Legislature Has Adjourned

This is an update on a number of key legislative issues now that the state Legislature has recessed the first year of the 2017-2018 legislative session. 

The deadline for the Governor’s consideration of the measures that passed the Legislature in the final days prior to adjournment is October 15.

Prohibition against drinking an alcoholic beverage or smoking or ingesting marijuana or any marijuana product while driving, or while riding as a passenger

SB 65 [Hill] – has been enacted into law after provisions of concern to RBOC were removed at the organization's request. Those provisions would have prohibited drinking an alcoholic beverage while operating a vessel. The current, extensive provisions of state law strike an effective balance that prevents boating under the influence [BUI], effectively enforces the BUI laws, and acknowledges the boating experience. 

Elimination of mortgage interest deduction on second homes

AB 71 [Chiu] – was not taken up on the Assembly Floor and may be considered in 2018. RBOC has advocated in opposition to this measure.

Expansion of vessels eligible to use distinctive blue lights to include fire department and fire protection district vessels while engaged in public safety activities

AB 78 [Cooper] – this RBOC-supported measure has been enacted and will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Requirement that DBW, to the extent feasible, collaborate with the California Conservation Corps and use members of the corps in implementing its invasive aquatic plants control programs

SB 704 [Galgiani] – this RBOC-supported measure has been enacted into law and will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Enactment of a 12 cents per gallon motor vehicle gasoline tax increase, and a 20 cents per gallon diesel fuel tax, with the portion of the new gasoline taxes attributable to boats placed in the State Parks and Recreation Fund

SB 1 [Hertzberg] – has been enacted into law, with the increase taking effect on November 1, 2017. At least one initiative to repeal the tax is being pursued.

Authorization for a court to impound, for up to 30 days, a boat used in a violation of the BUI laws if the owner is convicted and the conduct resulted in the unlawful killing of a person

SB 644 [Stone] – was vetoed by Governor Brown: “I do not see the need, in these tragic but narrow instances, to additionally expand the powers of government to impound private property as an added punitive measure. Because this bill will not act as a deterrent, and existing criminal and civil penalties are sufficient to address the conduct contemplated, I am returning this measure without my signature.”

Establishment of an infraction to smoke on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system

AB 725 [Levine] – has passed the Legislature and proceeds to the Governor for his consideration.

Establishment of an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a person to smoke on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system

SB 386 [Glaser] – has passed the Legislature and proceeds to the Governor for his consideration.

Establishment of an infraction to possess an alcoholic beverage in a vessel on portions of the Mokelumne River during a summer period for which the Board of Supervisors has banned consumption on land portions of the Stillman Magee County Park

AB 934 [Flora] – was not heard in the initial policy committee and may be considered next year.

Imposition of a quagga and zebra mussel infestation prevention fee of up to $50 annually, on non-resident owners of vessels, to be paid before the vessel is placed in the state’s waterways

AB 1587 [Levine] – was held under submission in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Prohibition against the sale of a nonbiodegradable toxic chemical in a container that indicates that the chemical could be used in a chemical toilet, a waste facility of a recreational vehicle, or a waste facility of a vessel

AB 852 [Caballero] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Proposed $3.5 billion water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access bond measure – with potential funding for a Riverside County aquatic center

SB 5 [DeLeón] – has passed the Legislature and has proceeded to the Governor for possible placement before voters on the June 2018 statewide ballot.

Requirement that the lead agency provide information on costs for each water contractor and the benefits each contractor will receive from the proposed Delta water conveyance project prior to water contractors entering into specified agreements

AB 791 [Frazier] - was held under submission in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Prohibition against the Delta Stewardship Council granting a certification of consistency with the Delta Plan until completion of the update of the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta Estuary

AB 792 [Frazier] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Declaration of state policy that the existing state of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is recognized and defined as an integral component of California’s water infrastructure

AB 793 [Frazier] – did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

Revision of the definition of a local emergency to include conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the territorial limits of a district established under the Harbors and Navigation Code

SB 531 [Galgiani] - did not proceed through the Legislature and can be considered next year.

RBOC-supported "Blue Light" Safety Bill Passes Senate Committee

The RBOC-supported boating public safety measure AB 78 [Cooper] has passed the Senate Committee on Public Safety with bipartisan support.

AB 78 would expand the allowed use of a distinctive blue light on public safety vessels to include vessels owned by fire departments or fire protection districts whenever the vessel may be engaged in law enforcement activities.

The measure next proceeds to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

The author's description of the measure and its objectives:

"Currently the Harbors and Navigation Code (section 652.2) authorizes the use of “blue” lights on law enforcement vessels only. The use of blue lights on emergency vessels indicates to civilian boaters to yield the right-of-way and/or to slow down as to not create a hazard or unnecessary wakes. They do not mean by themselves to stop and succumb to police actions. Fire Departments also work the California waterways and are responsible for public safety responses to include extinguishing boat, structure and bank fires, emergency response and rescue, dead body recovery, medical response and staffing public waterway events. 

"Current law does not allow fire to equip or use blue lights while they are engaged in a public safety capacity or response. This continues to cause difficulties in that fire department vessels cannot respond in the most expedient manner to water way emergencies. Furthermore, when their vessels are stationary at incidents such as fires, search or rescue operations or body recoveries boaters do not use caution when passing or approaching fire vessels. Many fire departments call for mutual aid from law enforcement vessels merely to “standby” with blue lights activated while fire department personnel provide emergency public safety services. This costs time for fire department vessels to wait for law enforcement response and also creates an unnecessary manpower drain because it requires the services of two public safety entities when one would suffice. 

"AB 78 would fix this problem by allowing fire departments to equip their vessels with blue lights and to use them only for public safety responses on the waterways."

 

 

California Boaters Can Now Take Free Boating Safety Course at Home

BoatUS Foundation online boating safety course approved by

California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 12, 2017 – A new law says California boaters will need to go to school, and the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety has the right course to fit their schedule and budget.

Starting January 1, 2018, Golden State boaters ages 20 or younger who operate a motorized vessel on state waterways will need to have a boater safety card showing successful completion of a boater safety education course. Each year thereafter on January 1, more age groups will be added to the requirement so that by 2025 all California boaters will need to carry a boater card issued by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW).

The easiest and most affordable way to meet the requirement is to take the BoatUS Foundation’s free online Boating Safety Course – now approved by DBW – which allows boaters to take the course in the comfort of their own home. Once successfully completed, the course does not expire so boaters of all ages don’t need to delay and can complete their boating safety education now.

“We’ve loaded the course with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. “The best part of all is that our course is free and can be taken at home. It’s designed so that you can stop and then continue at any time,” added Edmonston.

Upon finishing the course, boaters can print their own certificate of completion, and beginning in 2018, the state will begin to issue official California Boater Education Cards to students who have completed the course between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017.

The course and exam is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the US Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

To take the course, go to BoatUS.org. For more information about California boater education, go to californiaboatercard.com.

Legislature Sends BUI Clarity Measure to Governor

The Senate today approved and sent to the Governor AB 1829 [Levine], legislation supported by RBOC that would clarify current law pertaining to boating under the influence [BUI].

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 1829 that would update the boating under the influence [BUI] law as part of a continued effort to increase safety on our state’s waterways.

Addressing BUI remains important.  According to the 2013 report of the state Division of Boating and Waterways, 32% of all boating fatalities in the state involved alcohol during the period 2009 to 2013.

AB 1829 would clarify existing law and would remove obsolete language regarding the arrest of a person suspected of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The measure would amend Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655.1. The revision would clarify that an officer who arrests a person on suspicion of operating a vessel or watercraft while under the influence shall inform the person that:

  • A criminal complaint may be filed against him or her for operating a mechanically propelled vessel or manipulating any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug.

  • He or she has a right to refuse chemical testing.

  • An officer has the authority to seek a search warrant compelling the arrested person to submit a blood sample.

  • He or she does not have the right to have an attorney present before stating whether he or she will submit to the chemical testing, before deciding which chemical test or tests to take, or during the administration of the chemical test or tests chosen.

This advisement provision would replace the obsolete provision in the current law. That provision requires an officer to inform a person arrested for a BUI that his or her refusal to submit to, or failure to complete, the required chemical testing may be used against the person in a court of law and that the court may impose increased penalties for that refusal or failure, upon conviction. Neither of those statements is accurate.

AB 1829 has already passed the Assembly. The measure is sponsored by the California State Sheriffs' Association.

Marine Debris Bill Passes Legislature, Proceeds to Governor

The Assembly today concurred in the Senate amendments to AB 1323 [Frazier] by a preliminary, bipartisan vote of 71—0, sending the RBOC-supported marine debris measure to the Governor for his consideration.

The meaure would enhance the removal of marine debris from the state's waterways. The bill would provide authority for any state, county, city, or other public agency having jurisdiction over a given location, or having authority to remove marine debris or solid waste, to remove and destroy marine debris that is floating, sunk, partially sunk, or beached in or on a public waterway, beach, or on state tidelands or submerged lands, subject to specific conditions:

  1. The marine debris meets the definition provided in the Harbors and Navigation Code and the value of the debris does not exceed the cost of removal and disposal.
  2. If the debris cannot be identified as belonging to an individual, a peace officer or authorized public employee securely attaches to the marine debris a notice stating that the marine debris shall be removed by the public agency if not claimed or removed within 10 days.
  3. If the debris can be identified as belonging to an individual, a 10-day notice is attached to the marine debris, and sent to the owner of the marine debris, if known, at the owner's address of record with the Department of Motor Vehicles, by certified or first-class mail. 
  4. The marine debris is not removed prior to the ten day notification period.

 

 

RBOC-supported Marine Debris Legislation Passes Senate

RBOC-supported AB 1323 [Frazier, D-Oakley] to enhance the removal of marine debris from the state's waterways has passed the Senate Floor [Senate Third Reading]. The measure next proceeds to the Assembly for concurrence in the amendments made to the bill in the Senate.

This legislation would provide authority for any state, county, city, or other public agency having jurisdiction over a given location, or having authority to remove marine debris or solid waste, to remove and destroy marine debris that is floating, sunk, partially sunk, or beached in or on a public waterway, beach, or on state tidelands or submerged lands, subject to specific conditions:

  1. The marine debris meets the definition provided in the Harbors and Navigation Code and the value of the debris does not exceed the cost of removal and disposal.
  2. If the debris cannot be identified belonging to an individual, a peace officer or authorized public employee securely attaches to the marine debris a notice stating that the marine debris shall be removed by the public agency if not claimed or removed within 10 days.
  3. If the debris can be identified as belonging to an individual, a 10-day notice is attached to the marine debris, and sent to the owner of the marine debris, if known, at the owner's address of record with the Department of Motor Vehicles, by certified or first-class mail. 
  4. The marine debris is not removed prior to the ten day notification period.

RBOC-supported Legislation for Oversight of Invasive Aquatic Plants Efforts Passes Assembly Committee

RBOC-supported legislation SB 223 [Galgiani] that would establish an advisory and oversight committee to evaluate and monitor the activities of the Division of Boating and Waterways relating to the management and control or eradication of invasive aquatic plants will pass the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee following today's hearing. RBOC testified in support of the bill.

The provisions of SB 223 would enhance the existing laws that designate the Division of Boating and Waterways within the Department of Parks and Recreation as the lead agency of the state for purposes of cooperating with other state, local, and federal agencies in identifying, detecting, controlling, and administering programs to manage invasive aquatic plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its tributaries, and the Suisun Marsh, and that prescribes the duties of the division with regard to the management and control or eradication of those plants.

The increasing infestations of aquatic invasive plants, especially throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, confirm the critical need to accomplish increased effectiveness and efficiencies. SB 223 is in furtherance of this objective.