Boating advisory group forming
A new organization is being formed which hopes to become the voice of recreational boaters on Narragansett Bay and its tributaries. Called the Rhode Island Boating Safety Forum, the group began as a U.S. Coast Guard pilot program to address boating safety issues, especially regarding the recreational boating interface with commercial shipping.
The forum now stands on its own and boasts members from many diverse interests on the bay including the Coast Guard, U.S. Power Squadron, boating educators, marine surveyors, sail race organizers/managers, yacht clubs, harbormasters, marine weather forecasters and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to name a few.
The group still needs to reach even more shareholders in the recreational maritime community if they hope to represent all boaters. Among those they are trying to attract are recreational and commercial fishermen, marine related businesses, suppliers, marina operators, boat dealers, kayakers, and hunters.
The forum meets monthly at various locations around the bay and plans to include guest speakers at future meetings.
Anyone interested in joining this forum can contact Chairman Paul Hitchen at phitchen@comcast. net or call 508-674-6593.