Wallops/Breaux Consensus Reached

BoatU.S. Magazine - March 2003 - page 5

Following 18 months of debate, the 30-member American League of Anglers and Boaters (ALAB) has agreed on a strategic approach to reauthorizing the $500 million-plus Aquatic Resources (Wallop/Breaux) Trust Fund for another six years.

Funding for marine law enforcement and state boating safety efforts would increase substantially - by 48% - if the coalition's recommendations are adopted by Congress, noted BoatU.S. Government Affairs Director Michael Sciulla.

"We are also pleased that ALAB voted to increase funding for the Boating Infrastructure Grant program by 25%," said Sciulla. BIG provides the states with funds for transient facilities for cruising boaters.

A past president of the group and a current member of its executive committee, Sciulla has seen the Wallop/Breaux Fund grow from a $30 million program in the early 1980s to $500 million today. The revenues come from federal gas and fishing tackle taxes paid by boaters and anglers.

Funds are also used to propagate fish, build launch ramps, pumpout stations and protect wetlands. The trust fund's namesake and chief sponsor, Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), is a long-time boater, angler and BoatU.S. member.