For release: May 21, 2009 Contact: Susan Zemek, 360-902-3081

OLYMPIA Washington State has created a new Web site for boaters that consolidates and simplifies access to a variety of information on boating services, rules and regulations, places to boat, fishing licenses, and boating news, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office announced today.

"The new Web site: a portal to dozens of boating- related sources of information, and hopefully will make it easier for boaters to find what they need to recreate safely and enjoyably," said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which put the site together.

The site links to information offered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Department of Natural Resources; Department of Licensing; Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development; and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, as well as federal government, non-profit, and private organizations.

The site was developed as a result of a 2007 survey of boaters' needs authorized by the legislature. The survey showed that boaters desired a centralized Web site that would provide a one-stop shop for boating information instead of requiring boaters to search the Web sites of multiple state agencies.

"Boating in Washington is a central part of our culture and economy," Cottingham said. "There are more than 250,000 registered boats in Washington and that doesn't include folks with small kayaks and canoes or those who travel to Washington to recreate with their boats. We really tried to think of everything a boater would need from state government and then we tried to put it all in one place. We want to make sure that
boaters are getting what they need so that they can be safe, help us protect the environment, and enjoy Washington's great outdoors."