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2015 Confluence Awards Recipients

Recognized at Congressional Reception

HARRISBURG, Pa. (May 15) – The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are proud to announce United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Vincent B. Atkins, and Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania as the recipients of the 2015 Confluence Awards.

This year’s recipients were recognized at the Congressional Reception, co-hosted by the NSBC and NASBLA, held May 13 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. The annual Congressional Reception celebrates National Safe Boating Week (May 16-22), the North American Safe Boating Campaign, and the Confluence Awards.

The Confluence Award is designed to recognize federal government officials or others in national public service who have worked to save lives, reduce boating casualties, and ensure boating resources are returned to boaters. The diligence and vision of these individuals result in safe and enjoyable recreational boating, enhanced homeland security, and implementation of the Strategic Plan of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program for America’s waterways.

“Each of the three recipients this year uniquely showed a commitment to safer boating through their achievements,” remarks Chris Edmonston, Chair of the NASBLA. “The Confluence Awards are just a small token of our appreciation to those individual like Rear Admiral Atkins, Senator Toomey, and Congressman Kelly, that go above and beyond to help keep our waterways safer for recreational boaters.”

Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Mike Kelly are being awarded this year’s Confluence Award for their leadership and support of the Strategic Response to Asian Carp Act in the 113th Congress. The Act was integrated into the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA), signaling a significant broadening of the fight against the spread of Asian Carp and taking a more holistic watershed approach to preventing the spread and minimizing the impact of this threat to public safety and recreational boating.

Asian Carp have become an increasing threat to both the health of the aquatic ecosystems and to recreational boaters. Large Silver Carp (up to 100 lbs.) can hurtle through the air when agitated by passing boaters, causing damage to boats and injury to boaters. The potential of invasive Asian Carp can discourage recreational boating altogether. Senator Toomey and Congressman Kelly played critical roles leading up to inclusion of the Asian Carp language in the WRRDA.

Rear Admiral Vincent B. Atkins, Deputy of Operations Policy and Capabilities, is being recognized with the Confluence Award for his efforts in strengthening the State/Federal Partnership in Recreational Boating Safety (RBS). Recognizing the critical, historical role the state boating programs play in implementing the National Recreational Boating Safety Program, where annually more that 95% of all recreational boating safety expenditures occur, Admiral Atkins has worked to foster a more collaborative approach to setting national program priorities and achieving strategic program goals.

“Very often, efforts like these go unrecognized,” comments Eleanor Mariani, President of NASBLA. “These men have each demonstrated that collaborative efforts can help shape a more positive boating experience throughout our nation.”

These recipients are recognized for their support of legislation, laws, and regulations for boating safety through their positions of prestige and responsibility. To learn more about the Confluence Awards or to nominate an individual for the 2016 Confluence Awards, visit
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