Eric Kreuter, general manager of Moriches Boat & Motor in East Moriches, on March 4 was elected president of the Empire State Marine Trades Association.

The 400-member ESMTA promotes the marine industry throughout New York State and advances the safe and proper use of boats and marine accessories, among other issues.

Kreuter, 42, of Calverton, is stepping down as president of ESMTA’s regional affiliate, Association of Marine Industries, which represents eastern Long Island, to take on the new role. He will officially be installed in October.

Kreuter said he will continue to push for approval of Brianna’s Law, named after a girl who was killed in a boating collision. The bill, which was approved by the state Assembly last year but did not make it to the Senate floor, calls for an eight-hour boating safety course for people who operate boats on the state’s waterways.

Kreuter said he recently lobbied legislators to include owners of not only operators of motorized vessels, but non-motorized vessels such as kayaks, canoes and paddle crafts, noting that large portions of fatalities on the waters are related to non-motorized vessels. He also pushed for a phase-in of the legislation for five to seven years.

“We were going with the idea that [the bill] didn’t go far enough,” Kreuter said of his recent visit to Albany.

He said he didn’t expect the bill to come for a vote until after the state budget is addressed.

Eric Kreuter

Eric Kreuter, general manager of Moriches Boat & Motor, on March 4 was elected president of the Empire State Marine Trades Association. (March 8, 2019/Credit: Carl Corry)

Kreuter said he also wants to keep his eye on Brookhaven Town’s new Marine Commercial district zoning. The zoning could allow marinas to add bait-and-tackle stores and restaurants, leading to positive economic benefits. However, Kreuter said, “We just want to make sure it doesn’t increase our property taxes as a result.”

Marinas had been placed in the town’s J2 business district zoning.

Additionally, Kreuter will continue the association’s effort to push a four-year marine technician apprenticeship program currently in the works with the New York State Department of Labor. The program would start with Kingsborough Community College, where Kreuter’s father, Conrad—who owns Moriches Boat & Motor—teaches. Students would gain 8,000 hours of training and earn an associate’s degree.

“It’s the first of its kind in New York,” Kreuter said of the program.