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Bad Precedent Avoided

As predicted would happen when the Department of Parks and Recreation absorbed the Department of Boating and Waterways last year, California state lawmakers tried to dig their fingers into the Harbor and Watercraft Revolving Fund for non-boating uses. The Recreational Boaters of California and Boat US joined forces last week to alert boaters about this last-minute money grab and their lobbying paid off.

Beach erosion at Hueneme Beach is a serious issue but funneling funds from boating resources would set a dangerous precedent. Open that door once and it will never close again.

© City of Port Hueneme

California Senate Bill 436 passed in the final hours of the state legislature’s 2012-2013 session, but a key portion that would have opened up the HWRF for non-boating purposes — which would have set a troubling precedent — was dropped. Instead, the bill allows for the possibility of "a grant or loan of $1 million from the HWRF to Port Hueneme for emergency measures to prevent damage to streets and property along Hueneme Beach caused by beach erosion and flooding." The two boater advocate groups say they will continue to do everything they can to protect the integrity and effectiveness of the HWRF.

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