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Association of Urban Waterfront Working Vessel Operators

WaterBound is a program designed to raise public awareness of the need for independent maritime businesses that rely on small commercial vessels. A vast range of water-dependent businesses make a sustainable and vibrant working urban waterfront. Water-centric organizations are the backbone of urban shoreline infrastructure.

"WaterBound" businesses provide jobs, goods and services that are part of a healthy and diverse local economy. Fishing boats, ship yards, marinas, construction outfits, towing vessels, coastal freighters, passenger vessels, crew boats, water taxis, tour boats, salvage operators, barges, charter boats, and market boats are among the many types of independent enterprises that rely on the uses of small vessels on an urban waterfront.

Large international ports (like Seattle and Tacoma) are failing to provide adequate accommodations for local water-centric businesses. Rather, they focus on acquisitions of private and public lands for anticipated growth of imported containerized goods. Under port authorities, urban waterfronts have become huge parking lots with no access for small vessels. What doesn't get consumed for port expansion gets transformed into expensive habitat restoration zones that are off limit to human activity. Too much urban waterfront has been converted to non-water dependent uses that reduce human access to the sea.

Well intentioned, but misguided environmental activism has all but decimated the small vessel maritime industry. Using stringent federal guidelines and political leverage, deep pocket upland developers and environmental extremists have worked to cut human activity on the water. Environmental do-gooders are frequently duped to fight battles for big money interests.

Private residential waterfront real estate fetches top dollar in many urban environments. High property values translate to huge tax revenues for municipalities. However, the loss of a working waterfront diminishes access for all but the few who control the shoreline.

UPWA recognizes a need to unite businesses that operate small vessels in the maritime industry to encourage the permitting and development of both private and public accommodations for small vessels. A waterfront that has public access, but no space for private enterprises, will fail to provide the water-centric services both directly and indirectly enjoyed by the public.

UPWA is instigating the development of the WaterBound program for the following reasons:

1.) To raise awareness for the need to accommodate a wide range of water-dependent organizations along an urban waterfront.

2.) To inspire the maintenance and development of both private and public small vessel docks.

3.) To provide a strong voice to consolidate and convey the needs of small water-dependent enterprises who use urban waterfronts.

Visit Web Site for waterBound.org

Funding Revenue Source:

Corporate sponsors, FarmBoat Foods Co.,