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President's Report
July 2018

One of my favorite sayings is: “Every boat is a dream.”
It’s July, and for the next few months it’s peak dream time for Northwest boaters; and it’s the job of NMTA and our members to help fulfill all types of dreams on the water.
The Seattle Boat Show has been launching dreams for 71-years and we will do it again January 25 through February 2, 2019 at CenturyLink Field Event Center, South Lake Union and Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina. It was in this column exactly a year ago I announced that the NMTA Boat Show Committee and Board decided to add the Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina on Seattle’s waterfront as a new third location.
The decision to add Bell Harbor Marina was an important and successful strategic decision for NMTA and our members because it addressed several key long-term challenges the Show faces – shortage of indoor space, cost of displaying the largest boats indoors and shortage of affordable parking. Bell Harbor Marina’s dock configuration also allowed for a new feature embraced by a number of exhibitors – sea trials during show hours. This past year we had fifty boats on display at Bell Harbor with room to double that in the future.
Believe it or not, 2019 will be the 20th Show at CenturyLink Field & Event Center. This anniversary means it is time for NMTA to renew and start a new lease for 2020 and beyond at the stadium. In April and May, the lease renewal was top of mind for the NMTA Boat Show Committee, Board and staff. Across several meetings and then at a joint meeting of the Board and Boat Show Committee, we discussed the future of boat shows in Seattle. In the end, the Boat Show Committee and Board unanimously recommend NMTA sign another 10-year lease with the stadium. Collectively, the volunteer leadership of NMTA and staff are very optimistic about Seattle’s waterfront improvements and how CenturyLink Field and Bell Harbor Marina can continue to launch thousands of dreams and support 400-plus member businesses for the next decade.
Renewing our lease also means we need to look into our crystal ball and predict the length of show and dates for the next decade. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of options to select different dates because of NFL football, MLS soccer and other long-term lease holders like the RV Show and Home Show.  Right now it is NMTA’s intent to renew our lease with the same nine-day format used for the last five years. Depending on your point of view this may be good or bad news. This will also be year twenty for me at NMTA and I know better than anyone just how much discussion dates and length of show can create with our members.
Later this summer we plan to schedule several meetings where members can meet with the members of the NMTA staff, Board and Boat Show Committees to see and hear firsthand what our future date options are. Please stay tuned for an announcement of when and where we plan to schedule these meetings. That said, I’m always available for an email or phone call to discuss show dates.
Applications for the 2019 Seattle Boat Show at CenturyLink Field and Bell Harbor Marina were mailed and emailed to all 737 NMTA members on June 29. The on-time deadline for guaranteed space allocation and the lowest rates is, as usual, August 31. Applications for the South Lake Union location will be sent by the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association in late September.
Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show
The first ever Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show was held at Cap Sante Marina May 17-20. I’ve been involved with a lot of shows and events and frankly I don’t think it could have gone any better than it did for our attendees and exhibitors in all four display areas - marina, accessory tent, trailer boats and boatyards.

We were also blessed with perfect weather from move-in to move-out. In the end we had 5,214 attendees from fifteen different states, 263 new and brokerage boats on display and 103 NMTA or Anacortes Chamber of Commerce member exhibitors. Our goals were to have 3,000 paid attendees and 250 boats with essentially a break-even budget and we achieved all three. On page 12 you can read a recap of the show.
I’d like to personally thank the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, Port of Anacortes and the City of Anacortes for their vision, trust and enthusiasm to support and encourage a major boat show in their community. The show dates for 2019 are May 16-19 and applications will be available this fall.

Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force
Earlier this year, I was asked to serve on Governor Jay Inslee’s Southern Resident Killer Whale (SKRW) Task Force as a voice for recreational boating and fishing.
The purpose of the Task Force is to prepare “a comprehensive report and recommendations for recovering Southern Residents, with a full draft due by October 1, 2018, and a final report by November 1, 2018. The report will detail actions that will address all the major threats to Southern Residents, including prey availability, toxic contaminants, and disturbance from noise and vessel traffic. A second report outlining the progress made, lessons learned, and outstanding needs will be completed by October 1, 2019.”
SRKW’s are defined as what most Puget Sound boaters refer to as J, K and L pods. J pod has 24 whales, K pod has 18 whales and L pod has 35 whales for a total of 76 individuals which is the lowest in 30 years. The SRKW’s prey on fish only and primarily chinook salmon with a strong preference in the summer for chinook salmon returning to the Fraser River in British Columbia. There are also northern transient whales, cousins of the SRKW’s, that feed on salmon and pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). I think it is fascinating that the SRKW’s feed only on fish and the northern transients feed on both fish and pinnipeds. From time to time the northern transients visit Puget Sound to feed on the large population of pinnipeds.
NOAA has determined that the three major threats to SRKW recovery are: vessel traffic, toxics, and abundance of prey. Actions recommended by the Task Force to address these three threats have the potential to significantly impact recreational boaters and anglers. To support the Task Force in making recommendations to the Governor three Work Groups have been created to go deep into the science, political, economic and social consequences of all recommendations. My goals as a Task Force member are: 1) Attend all meetings; 2) Make sure the Task Force and Work Groups use the best available science for making recommendations; 3) Advocate strongly for our member businesses.
All of the Task Force and Work Group meetings are open to the public, and between now and October when the first report is due there will be six more meetings. If you have questions or concerns about how any recommendations could impact your business or your customers I invite you to contact me directly. I also encourage you to visit the Governor’s website www.governor.wa.gov. Click on the Issues – Energy & Environment page to see the complete meeting schedule and educational materials provided to Task Force members and the public.
See you on the water,

George Harris
NMTA President/CEO

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