The Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron (MISPS), during a strategic planning session, brought up the idea to unite all boating organizations on Marco Island.
Each boating organization had it’s own special appeal to the public. Members of one organization would like to participate in some of the activities held by another organization. We thought that this would be a good way for boating organization members to be introduced to other boating organizations on the island.
MISPS had a relatively new boater to Marco Island who just happened to be the organization’s executive officer in charge of external affairs. At the urging of the executive committee, he accepted the challenge.
A few weeks were spent learning about all the boating organizations on Marco Island and their commanders, commodores or presidents. These people were invited to the first meeting of the Marco Island Commanders Group.
The first meeting was scheduled for September 20, 2017. But the Marco Island Commanders Group got off to a shaky start when Irma interrupted plans. The meeting was rescheduled for October 6, 2017.
Representatives attending the meeting included: Marco Island Yacht Club, Marco Bay Yacht Club, Marco Island Paddlers Association, Marco Sportfishing Club, The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, Sailing Association of Marco Island, Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron.
Gene Burson, from the MISPS, began the meeting by explaining that the group was started to inform members of different organizations of the boating opportunities available on Marco Island. Members of power boating clubs may want to go sailing or paddle boarding and vice versa. To satisfy these members, they could learn about the opportunities offered by other organizations and possibly take part. Hurricane Irma had a definite impact on the organization, with the need to expand the purpose from boating curiosity and social expansion to also become a united voice of safe boaters to the city and county.
It was suggested that the Marco Island Fire Rescue and Police departments boating divisions be invited to the next meeting, which was done. Both were represented at the next meeting.
At the December 6, 2017 meeting, a representative from the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary gave a Power- Point presentation on the destruction of Aids to Navigation (ATONs) around Marco Island due to Hurricane Irma. The February 21, 2018 meeting included a discussion of the Wear IT! campaign.
The next meeting is scheduled for May 2, 2018, at Stonewalls starting at 7:30 AM.