Paddlesports (kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, rowboat, and raft) have been growing in popularity in recent years and the Washington State Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) Program wants to better understand how to serve this growing user group. The RBS Program is working to better quantify and promote the benefits of paddlesports while responding to the impacts. To achieve this, a Washington State Paddlesports Advisory Committee (PAC) has been formed to serve in an advisory role to the RBS Program. The Paddlesports Advisory Committee is tasked to offer recommendations and achieve the following goals:
- Decrease the rate of paddlesport fatalities in Washington and increase safety, through education, outreach, and enforcement.
- Include paddler’s needs and participation in the RBS Program’s operations.
- Increase communication among the agencies that serve boaters and with all paddle user groups.
- Explore the funding needs for services that benefit paddlesports and mitigate impacts; evaluate equitable and appropriate mechanisms to secure necessary funding resources.
- Enhance the quality of the paddling user experience, including improvements to public access and actions to reduce user conflicts.
- Create a venue to discuss improving stewardship, conservation, and the health of our waterways.