History

The Greater Cleveland Boating Association was founded in 1946. Following are but a few of the most notable GCBA achievements.

1946 – GCBA conducted city-wide regattas that attracted thousands of spectators to Cleveland’s waterfront.

1952 – Construction of a divided freeway, the Marginal roadway now known as the Shoreway proposed relocation of Cleveland Builder’s Supply would have destroyed Forest City Yacht Club and Gordon Shore Boat Club. GCBA caused CSBC to be located on the Cuyahoga River and kept the boating facilities safe in their present locations.

1953 – GCBA obtained 40,000 signatures on petitions asking for small boating facilities in the Department of Port Control. Cleveland constructed the first small boat launching ramps for free public use at a cost of $600 each. They were constructed at Wildwood Park, Gordon Park, East 49th, and and Donald Gray Garden.

1954 – GCBA assisted Wildwood Yacht Club in obtaining a lease and established its location at the foot of Neff Rd.

1957 – GCBA was instrumental in having weather conditions broadcast along the south shore of Lake Erie.

1960’s – GCBA continued to work in areas such as lease renewal. GCBA provided representatives to speak against legislation aimed at boaters.

1978 – Ohio was given stewardship of Cleveland’s lakefront parks and GCBA learned of ODNR’s intention to assume control of Cleveland’s yachting and boating clubs. ODNR indicated that private clubs would be preempted, become public marinas and the docks would be allocated on an annual raffle system. GCBA opposed this move and succeeded in obtaining fifteen-year leases for all clubs in the Cleveland state park system.

1979 – GCBA caused a city ordinance to be passed prohibiting the use of gill nets within a two mile limit of the shoreline. GCBA sent representatives to meetings in Columbus which resulted in the abolition of all gill nets in Ohio. GCBA also assisted in having Ohio’s Walleye fish declared a game fish, and as such, be protected from commercial netters.

1982 – Ohio, in its rehabilitating plan for Wildwood Park, intended to abolish the east small boat launching ramp. GCBA protested and the State subsequently modified its plans and this ramp is still in useful operation.

1983 – Edgewater Park boat ramps were about to be redesigned so that several of the boat ramps would be lost. GCBA intervened and Edgewater ramps are still intact. GCBA provided leadership in motivating the construction of a breakwall at the mouth of the Chagrin River.

1984 – ODNR planned to narrow the entrance into the Harbor at Wildwood Park. GCBA recommended an offshore breakwall instead and the State agreed.

1987 – GCBA formally created a Political Action Committee. They successful opposed a plan by the State which would have eliminated security fences, relocated boat storage and installed a bike path through the clubs on the Cleveland waterfront.

1988 – GCBA collected 10,000 signatures on petitions supporting a ban on phosphates in detergents in 35 counties in the Lake Erie Basin. This grass roots effort resulted in passage of a bill which was signed into law by Governor Celeste at Lakeside Yacht Club.

1989 – GCBA conducted a public opinion poll to determine the need for mandatory boat licensing.

1990 – GCBA opposed a new boater tax as unjust and recommended immediate appeal.

1992 – Established a Joe Chase Memorial Benefit Fund. Recommended voluntary boating education as opposed to mandatory operator’s licensing.

1993 – GCBA assisted in the repeal of the ship stations license fee for marine radios.

1994 – GCBA received an award from the Nation Water Safety Congress in appreciation of the organization’s active leadership to promote boating safety through its PAC.

1997-98 Succeeded in modifying the INS inspection program for small boats returning from Canada. Thirteen videophones have been installed along the Ohio lakefront. Established a motto – GCBA the voice of the recreational boater.

1999 – After four years of petitioning, the Ohio Legislature finally increased the Gas Tax Revenue allocated to the Waterway Safety Fund from 1/2% to 3/4%.

2000 – GCBA, in conjunction with BAO, successfully lobbied for an increase in the Gas Tax allocated to the Waterway Safety Fund. The increase, another 1/8%, is approximately $2 million.

2001 – Inducted five new clubs into GCBA, expanding both our size and area.

2002 – GCBA is recognized nationally as the only recreational boating association that institutes legislation thru Political activity.

2003 – The GCBA was invited by Mayor Jane Campbell to represent the recreational boaters as a member of the Cleveland Lakefront Advisory Board.

2004 – GCBA, along with the clubs and marinas along Cleveland’s lakefront, formed a new sub-committee to be known as Recreational Boaters Protecting Cleveland’s Waterfront.

2008 – GCBA petitions at Boat Shows to support the creation of a national ballast water standard which would apply only to commercial ships.

2010 – GCBA solocited petitions at the annual Boat Show to reject any petitions for a waiver of the Clean Air Act to allow distribution of E-15 which caused damage to existing marine engines.

2012 – Provided testimony with the Ohio Environmental Council in support of the Great Lakes Compact.

2013 – GCBA entertained three Coast Gaurd and one Border Patrol Officers from Kazakhstan at Edgewater Yacht Club in co-operation with the Cleveland Council on World Affairs. GCBA also participated in the groundbreaking of the new, hard fought, transient docks in North Coast Harbor.

2014 – GCBA conducted surveys at the Mid-America Boat Show to see how boaters feel about the installation of wind turbines on Lake Erie.

2016 – GCBA collected petitions at the Mid-America Boat Show to save the Waterway Safety Council to protect the Waterway Safety Fund.

2017 – GCBA partnered with The Lake Erie Foundation to have petitions signed to limit the allowable amount of phosphorus from manure and fertilizers that find its way into the lake and also to have the Governor declare the western basin of Lake Erie impaired under the clean water act.