SALEM, Ore. -

The Oregon State Marine Board is seeking interested boaters to sit on one of four boating advisory teams to provide guidance to the agency on a variety of boating related issues.

The Boar Oregon Advisory Teams (BOATs) will be comprised of 10-15 members from around the state, and will meet approximately twice a year and occasionally via teleconference/webinar depending on the volume of issues being discussed.

"Agency staff are routinely dealing with issues where we are seeking boater input to determine the range of options and select the best course of action to recommend to the Board," said Scott Brewen, Director of the Marine Board. "These ad hoc committees provide great input, and are particularly useful for geographic-specific issues, but for ongoing statewide topics, these are often difficult to set up and generally meet only once or twice for a specific issue. By having designated teams of interested boaters, we can have an ongoing dialogue about statewide boating issues as they develop and as we attempt to deal with them," Brewen added.

"These teams are informal in nature with the purpose of providing input and advice to staff. The teams are not decision-making bodies, and do not take the place of any Board deliberations or any formal hearings required for rulemaking," said Brewen. "Our goal is that the Boat Oregon Advisory Teams will represent recreational boaters who can tell us what they're experiencing out on the water and then provide agency staff with ideas on how the agency can best address their concerns."

The Marine Board is recruiting for members for the following Boat Oregon Advisory Teams:
* Cruising (includes yachting, sailing, and runabouts)
* Watersports (includes wakeboarding, waterskiing, towed devices, PWCs, sailboarding, and motorboat racing)
* Outdoor Sportsmen (anglers and hunters who use a boat for their activities)
* Paddlesports (team currently exists, however; new member recruitment will being in the summer of 2015)

Meeting timeframes may vary between two to four hours with the following structure:
* Topics will include boating trend analysis, potential safety issues, boater conflict discussions, national trends, and local issues relating to law enforcement, education and access
* Current issues -OSMB staff will provide updates on issues previously identified by boaters
* New issues identified by team members
* New issues identified by OSMB staff
* Each issue will be given a name and number for use as a tracking tool and to establish goals for team members and agency staff.

Meetings are open to the public and public interaction will be encouraged. Additionally, members will be asked to serve a two year term with the option of an additional two years if desired.

All of the meeting agendas, materials and minutes will be posted on the agency website (www.boatoregon.com) and public meetings calendar at www.data.oregon.gov.

If being a member of a Boat Oregon Advisory Team floats your boat, the Marine Board has an online application form available at www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Pages/BoatOregonAdvisoryTeams.aspx.
The digital application deadline is July 31, 2014 by 5 pm.