Garden State of Mind As President Bush scrambled to fill jobs in his administration a few
months ago, New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman’s record of
cleaning up the Garden State floated her right to the top of candidates
for Director of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Not only did Bush handpick her for the job, but also he elevated the position
from a regular agency head to a cabinet-level post, a move that will give
Whitman more power to exert EPA influences on national and local legislation
than her predecessors.
But it’s Whitman’s love of all things water that could ultimately
spell changes in policy that would ripple through the boating and fishing
“I have never underestimated the importance of environmental protection,
just as I have never overestimated the ease of achieving it,” Whitman
said when she accepted the post.
As governor, the Republican said she had to take care of 127 miles of
her state’s beaches. She was also chairwoman of the Pews Ocean Commission,
an independent, national commission exploring ways to protect ocean water
and marine life, according to the Associated Press.
And though at presstime she had not outlined possible EPA policies that
would affect boating, she has participated in various water-quality programs
related to the ocean and lakes. In fact, Whitman has already inherited
an EPA plan for cleaning up the Hudson River. To reduce toxic PCBs from
General Electric’s manufacturing facilities in Hudson Falls and Fort
Edward, New York, the agency has launched a massive five-year clean-up
effort that calls for the dredging of a 40-mile stretch of river. During
that time, many popular areas will likely be closed to boaters.
Though Whitman’s impact on boating as EPA head remains to be seen,
her marine affinities will no doubt reveal themselves as she draws up
her environmental to-do list, a list that could lead to cleaner waters
and—who knows?—maybe even stricter boating regulations.
If you think your boat’s insurance bill is stinging your wallet too
much, log on to www.boatinsure. com and compare rates from several companies
for free. Operated by Gowrie, Barden and Brett, a service agency in Westbrook,
Connecticut, the site lets you get instant insurance quotes and descriptions
of basic and custom insurance packages for your vessel. If you already
have an account with one of the affiliated companies, you can check your
policy and make changes to it online. The site provides information on
insuring everything from a picnic boat to a megayacht.
ON SHELVES: FUN AFLOAT! Your bookshelves at home are probably lined with books on cruising,
your helm station packed with chart books and maintenance guides. But
do you have a single title that covers boating with your kids? Fun
Afloat! Cool Activities for Families that Boat shows you how to pump
up your children’s excitement while they’re out on the water.
The 170-page book packs dozens of family games with hundreds of educational
activities that help kids of all ages learn about boating. Whether they
create their own navigational chart, seaweed art, or a basic hydrometer,
your kids will be busy expanding their marine horizons. The book also
comes with several blank pages, so children can maintain their own trip
log. $19.95, waterproof cover. Fortworks Publishing.