In our inaugural year, the SC Boating & Fishing Alliance demonstrated just how impactful our state’s boating and fishing enthusiasts and business leaders can be in the legislative process. We have been warmly received at the State House, both in the governor’s office and legislature.
The SCBFA took the wind out of “30 by 30” sails before the legislation ever gathered momentum. While supporters touted the bill’s environmental friendliness, the bill would have set the precedent of restricting use of 30% of all lands and waters across the entire state by the year 2030. As written, it would have denied boaters and anglers access to thousands of acres of our state’s lands and waterways. We have been instrumental in working toward other conservation-driven legislation for future generations, but the “30 by 30” bill was a route we could not afford to take.
Aiming to end antiquated laws that require separate titles for boats and motors, Senators Josh Kimbrell (R-Spartanburg), Chip Campsen (R-Charleston) and Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) worked together to push “boat-motor title” legislation through the SC Senate. Getting this bill passed by the Senate this year was critical. Next year we will focus on the House, where we have a lot of friends. If this bill passes the House next year and is signed by Governor McMaster, South Carolina boat and motor titles will be merged into a single document. Our state is one of only six states that continues the decades-old practice of separate titles.
We were successful in containing “wake zone” legislation that would have expanded no wake zones to 300 feet for certain vessels. With input from the boating industry, SCBFA was able to keep the wake zone expansion to no more than 200 feet and only in certain waterways. The final version of the legislation is expected to come out of conference committee when the General Assembly returns in January.
The SCBFA was able to work with bill sponsors Rep. Spencer Wetmore (D-Charleston) and Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Charleston) to craft legislation to help identify abandoned boats without infringing on boaters merely wanting to enjoy anchoring their vessel for a short period of time.
It has become easier to present proof of hunting or fishing licenses, permits and stamps by being able to show proof electronically. No more hoping your paper license, etc. don’t get wet. Just keep your phone dry.
Dozens of other pieces of legislation came up in Columbia this session, and with your support, the SCBFA established a common voice for boaters and anglers in South Carolina.
A special thanks to Representatives Brian White (R-Anderson), Roger Kirby (D-Florence), Russell Ott (D-Calhoun), Davey Hiott (R-Pickens) and Senators Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee), Chip Campsen (R-Charleston), Josh Kimbrell (R-Spartanburg), Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) Gerald Malloy (D-Hartsville) and Wes Climer (R-York) for their active support of the SCBFA and its members.
We need you to protect and expand boating and fishing in the Palmetto State!
With your $25 individual contribution, you will receive an SCBFA-branded neck gaiter and sticker, along with our exclusive e-newsletter.
Please note this membership is for individuals. If you would like to contribute on behalf of your business, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributions to the organization are not deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions.