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New Laws for 2020

The 2019 Legislative Process

During even-numbered years, Marine Board staff proposes legislative concepts to its five-member Board based on feedback from stakeholders and partners, to improve recreational boating laws and services.  Legislative concepts approved by the Marine Board are submitted to the Department of Administrative Services (DAS).  After review from DAS, legislative concepts are forwarded to the Governor's Office for consideration.  If legislative concepts are approved by the Governor's Office, they move to Legislative Counsel to be drafted into bills.  The Marine Board and the Governor give a final review after the bills are drafted to determine what moves forward for legislative consideration.    


The agency met with stakeholders in 2018 after hosting four open houses around the state to gather feedback on the concepts (scroll down the page to the right to see when and where the open house took place).   


The agency asked for the following concepts to be considered by the Board and the Governor, which were approved in December 2018:

Waterway Access Account (SB 47): Creates a dedicated account to increase waterway access to all of Oregon’s waterways. The permit that funds this account would be required on all boats 10’ and over except motorboats and sailboats with valid registration decals. This is identical to the current requirement for non-motorized boats to carry the Aquatic Invasive Species Permit (AIS permit), and in this concept, the Waterway Access Permit would replace the AIS permit for non-motorized boats. Permits would be transferable to other non-motorized boats and children under 14 would not need a permit. Revenue will be used to support boating facility grants for state, local governments, park organizations, and tribal governments for the acquisition of property, leases, or easements in order for the public to access waterways and construction and maintenance of boating access facilities.  Funds would also be available for public bodies and non-profit entities to develop safety education courses and to purchase boating equipment to reduce barriers for underserved communities who wish to recreate on Oregon’s waterways.  View the story map with examples of boating access projects. See the measure history for SB 47. The legislation also requires that the Marine Board provide a report to the Legislature regarding the implementation of SB 47 in September 2020 and September 2021. View the 2020 Legislative Report.

Aquatic Invasive Species (HB 2076): Gives law enforcement the authority to require drivers who by-pass an open inspection station to return to the station for inspection/decontamination. Requires boaters to “pull the plug” after retrieving their boat and before transporting the boat over land.  See the measure history for HB 2076.  

Livery Program (HB 2077): Requires boat liveries (boat rental businesses) to register with the Marine Board. Businesses will provide basic information about the business and the types of boats they rent. The information will be used for outreach and education in an effort to reduce accidents and fatalities.  Failure to register would be a Class B violation ($265).  See the measure history for HB 2077.

Boater Education Card (HB 2078):  Requires all people to complete an approved boating safety course as defined in ORS 830.084 prior to operating a boat with a motor greater than 10 hp and remove the 60-day exemption for people who purchase a new or used boat.  Out-of-state visitors would be required to complete the level of education required in their home state of registration.  See the measure history for HB 2078.

Boating Safety Laws (HB 2079): Enables courts and the Marine Board to suspend the Boater Education Card for convictions for BUII for one to three years and enables suspension of the boater education card for one year for a conviction of reckless boating.  Updates the language for reckless boating to the standard used in the motor vehicle code.  Changes fine for not carrying a life jacket from a B violation ($265) to a D violation ($115).  See the measure history for HB 2079.

Boating Related Services, Program Fees (HB 2080)  Registration fees would increase from $4.50 per foot to $5.95 per foot, a 33% increase (or $1.45 per foot). The fee increase would be implemented in 2020, or five years since the last fee increase (2015). The prior fee increase to 2015 was in 2003.  New title and title transfer fees would increase from $50 to $75.  Increases fees for boater education card from $10 to $20 (these fees have remained the same for nearly two decades).  See the measure history for HB 2080.     

Once a legislative concept becomes a bill, it follows this process:
Oregon Legislature graphic on how an idea becomes a bill and the legislative process for a bill to become law



Non-Agency Legislation

HB 2652 –“The Helmet Law," requires outfitter guides to offer helmets (whether for purchase or rent) to customers when recreating on waterways with Class III or higher whitewater rapids. The Marine Board approved rules for implementation during their October Board meeting, held on October 24, 2019.

HB 3168 –Grants authority to the Marine Board to regulate non-motorized lakes in statute, to allow electric motors with a not-to-exceed slow-no wake speed. A petition was received and accepted by the Board to allow electric motors on Gold Lake in Lane County. Public comments are being accepted through December 20, 2019, and a public hearing is scheduled.

HB 2351 –“Willamette Greenway" requires the Marine Board to consider Landu Use Planning Goal 15 when considering rules or special regulations relating to the operation of boats within the Willamette River Greenway from Cottage Grove to the confluence at the Columbia River. The Board considered the Goal 15 during their October 24 Board meeting and opened rulemaking for the Newberg Pool and Lower Willamette River from below the falls to the confluence of the Columbia River. Rule Advisory Committees will be convened and will consider rules to bring to the Board in the future. 

HB 2352 –Creates a towed watersports education endorsement for boaters who wakeboard and wake surf on the Willamette River between RM 30 – 50 in the Newberg Pool. This education requirement applies to the boat operator who must pass an approved towed watersports education course (with a minimum passing score of 70%) and affix a special decal on their boat. To keep the costs as low as possible, the education course will be in the form of a home study manual (downloadable PDF) and a proctored exam held in various locations near the Newberg Pool, local sheriff's office and the Marine Board office in Salem. The cost of the course is $60 and the boat operator will receive a towed watersports education card and decal for their boat. The decal is specific to the boat. The boat operator must also report to the Marine Board on the endorsement application, the factory loading weight, and other manufacturer data as part of the law requirements. The cost of replacing an endorsement card or decal is $15. The Board approved rules to implement this endorsement during their October 24 Board meeting. 

With all of these program updates and fee changes, the agency is working closely with marine law enforcement and other agency partners, rental businesses, and facility managers to implement these new laws as smoothly as possible and to allow time to coordinate education and outreach. The ultimate goal is not to cite people, but to educate -for improved safety for all users, to protect our waterways from aquatic invasive species, and understand the impacts of boat operations on shorelines, sensitive habitats, and property. The Marine Board's mission is to "serve Oregon's recreational boating public through education, enforcement, access, and environmental stewardship for a safe and enjoyable experience." These new laws touch on each area of our mission, but ultimately, it's up to each and every boater to display courteous and considerate behavior for other users, pulling the plug and other boat maintenance practices and taking responsibility for your own safety -that matters most. 

HB 2835 -The bill requires state agencies to post notice before restricting or closing a site on state public lands where the public may access floatable natural waterways. The bill also requires the Oregon Department of Transportation to notify certain agencies of recommendations to fund bridge projects under the draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and consider public access sites near proposed bridge projects. The Marine Board will be notified by state agency partners of any construction closures and will post this information on the agency's interactive Boat Oregon Map, which currently shows all of the developed public access sites in the state. Boating access facilities are owned and operated by city, county, state and federal agencies. 

Senate Chamber in the Oregon State Capitol 

Marine Board Bills

Waterway Access Account
Bill Language
Story Map of Access Examples
SB 47 Enrolled -effective January 1, 2020 with enforcement after August 1, 2020

To receive bill notifications, visit the Oregon Legislature website, find the bill number for the 2019 session, and select "e-subscribe" to follow bills. 

Pre-Session Open Houses Held

DATE: July 10, 2018
TIME: 7 pm - 8 pm
LOCATION: Jackson County Parks Auditorium Room, 7520 Table Rock Rd., Central Point, OR  
DATE: September 19, 2018
TIME: 7 pm 
LOCATION: Marine Board Office, 435 Commercial St., NE., Salem, OR
DATE: October 16, 2018
TIME: 7 pm 
LOCATION: Eagle Crest Resort, 1522 Cline Falls Rd, Redmond, OR 97756 
DATE: October 22, 2018
TIME: 6:30 - 8 pm 
LOCATION: Southwestern Oregon Community College, Empire Hall -Lakeview E & F
1988 Newmark Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420

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