Encl. (1) to COMDTINST 16750.8A
FEDERAL / STATE RELATIONSHIPS
Purpose. Chapter 131 of Title 46, United States Code, charges the Secretary of
Transportation with carrying out a national recreational boating safety program. The goal
of the program is to encourage the States/Commonwealths/District of
Columbia/Territories (hence forth referred to as States) to assume the major role in
carrying out the boating safety mission and to foster greater development, use and
enjoyment of all waters of the United States. The Secretary has delegated this authority to
the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard's emphasis is coordination of a
national education effort, the training of State marine law enforcement personnel,
maintaining liaison, monitoring program effectiveness, and providing public information.
Federal financial assistance to the States is provided through the Boat Safety Account of
the Aquatic Resources (Wallop-Breaux) Trust Fund from revenues collected on motorboat
fuel taxes. Under the program, the Secretary may enter into agreements with, and allocate
and distribute funds to, eligible States to assist them in developing and carrying out State
recreational boating safety programs.
Objective. To carry out the intent of Congress, it is necessary that a close relationship be
established and maintained between the Coast Guard and the States. The district
commander, through his/her Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, is the primary Coast
Guard contact with the designated State agencies, usually the State Boating Law
Administrator. In most cases, Commandant (G-OP) will deal with the States through the
district commander. However, the authority to enter into financial agreements and provide
oversight of the Federal financial assistance described in 46 U.S.C. 13101 is reserved for
Purpose. This enclosure establishes guidelines for district commanders, under 46 U.S.C.
13109, to enter into cooperative agreements and other arrangements with the States, as
defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101 and 2102, for the enforcement of boating laws and for
coordinated joint efforts in such matters as search and rescue, issuing permits for regattas
and marine parades, boating safety education, and training.