Letters to the Editor

Boat Show committed to protecting environment

The Miami International Boat Show closed another successful show in February that attracted almost 100,000 visitors from all over the world and delivered an economic impact of $600 million to Miami-Dade County. Next year’s event will be our 75th annual show, and we are delighted to celebrate this tradition at our new home, Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin.

Miami Marine Stadium Park is one of South Florida’s most historic and beloved boating destinations. We are working with the city of Miami on enhancements that will allow different generations from throughout the community who haven’t been able to enjoy the park for more than 20 years to come back and experience it again. We will build on the legacy of Miami Marine Stadium and are excited that construction is already under way for customized docks and an open area park that will accommodate land exhibitors.

The May 7 article Federal review adds to Miami boat show debate focused on a report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the environmental impact of the work that will be done at Marine Stadium Park and Basin. This type of report is a routine part of the permitting process for any projects in our waterways — a process we have gone through for boat shows throughout the country.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies like it for years to ensure that we comply with any requirements or concerns surrounding our events. Our efforts at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin are no different.

As an organization centered on advocating for the marine industry, we’re acutely aware of the importance of protecting waterways. We represent and work with marine manufacturers and their boating customers who depend on the health of the marine environment for their livelihood and leisure. We actively take measures to help ensure clean marine engines and emissions. We also support the Sportfish Restoration Trust Fund, for which an estimated $300 million is collected annually from taxes boaters pay and that goes toward marine conservation, boater access and safety.

The boat show is a significant part of the Florida economy, supporting 55,000 middle-class jobs and generating approximately $32 million in tax revenue for the state from sales conducted at the show.

We are committed to working with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Miami-Dade community to ensure the Miami International Boat Show can continue to deliver the economic benefits and recreational enjoyment South Florida has become accustomed to throughout our 74-year history — while respecting the environment that surrounds our new home at Virginia Key.

We look forward to joining the South Florida community this coming February in welcoming back Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin and celebrating a new beginning.

Thomas Dammrich, president, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Chicago, IL