– What We Can Do For You?
By Leon Larson
Education Committee Chairman
Water Ski’s Waterways Education Committee was formed more than 20
years ago as a clearinghouse for information that could be used in
defense of the sport of water skiing. This information was then compiled
into a manual and made available to the membership for a minimal fee,
upon request. A video also was produced to introduce those not familiar
with the sport to our programs. The committee was structured somewhat
differently than most, as it was not formed of representatives from each
region, rather, its members were selected by expertise. This committee
is compiled of representatives in the fields of, law, safety,
environmental issues, and ski site development to name a few. These
committee members were then charged with keeping abreast of new
regulatory issues as they are introduced, and to educate the general
public to the benefits of water skiing. They are to provide assistance
to individuals and clubs in obtaining, maintaining, and retaining water
additional charge to this committee is to promote the sport of water
skiing through media releases and by providing up-to-date information
not only to the membership, but to water sports equipment and boat
manufacturers and regulatory agencies upon request. Its dictum is to
take a pro-active stance in the development of favorable legislative
outcomes that will advance and enhance the sport at all levels. As an
example, we are currently involved with, and stake holders in, the
National Recreational Lakes Study as commissioned by former President
Bill Clinton. The committee also works closely with, and has
representation on, the International Water Ski Federation (IWSF)
the years the committee has come to the defense of many issues all
across the country. Its success is a tribute to the dedication of its
Waterways Education Manual (PDF) contains a wealth of information and is
updated on a regular basis. Some of the subjects included in the manual
Organized: This section includes a guide to help you solve regulatory problems.
The section also includes a profile of current members of the board of
directors, and a listing of current USA Water Ski committees.
Government: This section will
help you to understand how government functions on a federal, state and
local level. It will advise you on how to participate in a public
hearing. This section also introduces you to the various agencies
involved in waterways issues. A complete listing of State Boating Law
Administrators is provided. A listing of expert witnesses, by region,
that can help with your cause also is provided and continuously updated.
Resources: This section
provides extensive information on environmental considerations where a
number of waterways-related issues are covered. Abstracts are provided
on issues such as pollution, shoreline erosion, bottom scouring and
noise pollution. A complete bibliography is included.
Media: A complete section
informs you as to how the media functions and how to use the media to
your best advantage. Tips on preparing a news release and a sample news
release are provided.
of Water Skiing: This section
covers boating and water ski safety. Annual accident and injury rates
for organized water skiing are outlined in a report format.
Some examples of USA Water Ski’s assistance to skiers,
information on finding and developing water ski sites, and USA Water Ski
membership information is provided.
current members of the Waterways Education Committee are available for
consultation at any time. You can find out who they are by contacting
USA Water Ski headquarters or obtaining a copy of the Waterways
Education Manual (PDF).