COLUMN:Support HR 2550 bill to protect boaters


July 27, 2007|By MIKE WHITEHEAD

I could not believe my eyes while I was driving along Pacific Coast Highway through Huntington Beach on Thursday morning.

I have seen many whales on the beach in my time, but now I saw a beach full of heifers — real Corriente steers on an actual cattle drive. The U.S. Open Surfing Contest partnered with the Orange County Fair to provide 25 riders on horseback leading 100 cattle along the beach.

I hope there will not be any runoff pollution.

Speaking of pollution, do you know there is a national issue brewing that could hurt boating as early as next summer? The EPA will require that every recreational boat has a national permit for any discharges from that vessel, including your bilge pump, by Sept. 30, 2008.


The call is out for boaters to contact their congressional members to support HR 2550, "The Recreational Boating Act of 2007." Democrat Gene Taylor from Mississippi and Republican Candice Miller from Michigan have introduced HR 2550 to protect boaters from the law of unintended consequences meant to target commercial ships.

This legislation is written to exclude every recreational boat from having a discharge permit. Therefore, organizations such as BoatUS are encouraging boaters to get involved so that HR 2550 is passed.

Please contact your representatives for their co-sponsor or support of HR 2550. If the permit system becomes a reality, you will be required to pay for a state permit for each of your recreational boats.

You can go to HR2550_FAQ.asp for more information, and you can use the sample e-mail letter at epa_letter.asp.

Do not let this unnecessary regulation become a reality, creating needless extra paperwork that simply wastes the boaters' and taxpayers' money.

Notice of the week: This Sunday is the 72nd Annual Flight of the Lasers in Newport Harbor.

The new home for our radio show is now broadcasting from Angel Stadium, where the radio station's new studios are now operational on AM 830 with 50,000 watts to Southern California.

So, tune in every Saturday at noon to the No. 1 boating radio talk show in the nation, "Capt. Mike Whitehead's Boathouse Radio Show."

Safe voyages.

  • MIKE WHITEHEAD is the Pilot's boating columnist. Send marine-related thoughts and story suggestions to or go to

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