• Joins NMMA, WSIA to testify on behalf of recreational boating access at Lake Minnetonka meeting
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, June, 22, 2022 – Chad Tokowicz, Government Relations Manager for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas testified in front of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) board in support of fair and equitable boating access on the state of Minnesota’s most populous boating destination. Tokowicz joined representatives from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA) to highlight the positive contribution wake surfing makes to the Lake Minnetonka community and the importance of access for all types of recreational boating activities.
In Minnesota, where boating reigns as the supreme warm-weather activity, wake surfing and the regulations surrounding the sport are a hot topic. The LMCD Board’s meeting, coined as a listening session, kicked off the process to evaluate whether additional restrictions are needed on Lake Minnetonka. The Board, established by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1967, is the governing body of Lake Minnetonka and is charged with overseeing regulations, safety, access and much more on the lake. To ensure the LMCD is consistent with its mission, the Board is charged with providing an enjoyable resource for all recreational users while also minimizing user conflict and ecological impact.
Conversations on how wake surfing, which has grown in popularity over the last few years, impacts waterbodies and other recreational users have sprung up across the country, and MRAA and its partners at WSIA and NMMA have been there to contribute their expertise on the subject.
In their remarks to the Board, recreational boating industry representatives focused on three key topics: the immense boating economy supported by Lake Minnetonka’s boating culture; the safety impact of the Wake Responsibly Campaign; and recent industry-led efforts to pass mandatory boater education legislation in Minnesota.
“While the boating industry at large and members of the Lake Minnetonka community appreciate the focus of the LMCD, we hope that the board is able to come to a conclusion that balances access for all types of water sports,” said Tokowicz. “Wake surfing is an important activity for the Lake Minnetonka community and helps support a vibrant recreational boating economy around the lake.”
There was considerable news coverage on the meeting, including feature stories from the “Star Tribune,” KSMP– Fox News affiliate, and KSTP – NSBC News affiliate.
As this conversation continues to develop and the board determines what action to take, the MRAA and its industry partners stand committed to advocating for boating access for all. This is just one of the many lakes throughout our nation considering a change to their regulations, if you are aware of any water bodies considering similar ordinances please contact Chad Tokowicz, Government Relations Manager, at Chad@mraa.com or call 978-569-5127.
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 MRAA.com or contact us at 763-315-8043.