Group image of several outdoor recreational activities from ORR

Legislation Could Boost Economy; Help More Americans Access Outdoor Recreation

WASHINGTON, D.C, March 28 – The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and other coalition members that are part of the $862 billion outdoor recreation economy celebrated the reintroduction of America’s Outdoor Recreation Act in the 118th Congress with strong bipartisan support.

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Head shot of MRAA President Matt Gruhn in a blue collared shirt in front of wood backdrop
Matt Gruhn, MRAA President

“Time and time again, outdoor recreation can bridge party lines and unify members of Congress who understand the value these pastimes hold for communities and individuals nationwide,” said Matt Gruhn, President of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “I hope that with the reintroduction of this historic outdoor recreation package we can continue to showcase that outdoor recreation continues to be a bipartisan policy priority in the 118th Congress, and that this package is just the first of many.”

This groundbreaking legislation boosts local and national economies and gives more Americans — especially those in underserved areas — greater access to green spaces, public lands and waters while not costing taxpayers money to implement.

Outdoor recreation is an $862 billion industry, providing 4.5 million American jobs and boosting economies in communities large and small. And studies have shown that enjoying time outside benefits a person’s mental and physical health.

“The recreational boating industry thanks Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barasso for their continued focus on improving outdoor recreation and prioritizing the continuous improvement of the outdoor recreation economy,” said Chad Tokowicz, MRAA Government Relations Manager. “Through increasing access, modernizing rural communities, streamlining permitting for guides and improving outdoor recreation infrastructure, we hope more Americans explore waterways and trails and that the many communities that support these pursuits will feel the benefit, too. Comprised of many small businesses, these communities serve as the backbone for our outdoor recreation economy.”

America’s Outdoor Recreation Act would:

  • enable permit streamlining to ease burdens on outfitters and guides and improve access to outdoor experiences
  • improve access to recreation on public lands and waters
  • ensure access to green spaces in underserved communities
  • update outdoor recreation infrastructure
  • develop, improve, and complete long range trails
  • invest in rural economic development

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“This is a commonsense, no-cost bill that will help equalize and improve access to green spaces and wild outdoor places in every state in the country,” said Chris Perkins, Senior Director of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “We are seeing unprecedented interest in outdoor recreation, but many of the policies supporting outdoor recreation are outdated. This package will make it easier for Americans to access the outdoors and provide agencies with new tools to address long-standing outdoor recreation needs. We need solutions that enhance outdoor recreation opportunities while protecting America’s public lands and waters, and AORA is an historic step to update these policies.”

Read more: America’s Outdoor Recreation Act, Explained

Group image of several outdoor recreational activities from ORR

Outdoor Industry Support for AORA

“America’s Outdoor Recreation Act will bolster outdoor recreation access and opportunities for the millions of Americans who continue to discover the benefits of the great outdoors and time spent on our nation’s lands and waters,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

“The America’s Outdoor Recreation Act is a comprehensive set of provisions to ensure our public lands are well managed and conserved to benefit the outdoor recreation economy and all those who love the outdoors,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA).

About the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas

At the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, we believe that for the marine industry to thrive, the retail organizations that interact with the boaters in their community must thrive. With that in mind, MRAA works to create a strong and healthy boating industry by uniting those retailers, providing them with opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice. For more information, visit or contact us at 763-315-8043.

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