NSBC Names BoatU.S. Foundation’s President, Chris Edmonston, to the Boating Safety Hall of Fame

The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC), a national catalyst for recreational boating safety, inducted Chris Edmonston into the Boating Safety Hall of Fame, the organization’s most prestigious award recognizing those who provided vital leadership in making our waterways safer throughout their career. Edmonston was honored at the International Boating and Water Safety Summit in Little Rock, Ark. on April 16, 2023.

Edmonston was instrumental in the development and growth of the only FREE online boating safety course developed specifically by state boating license agencies across the nation offered by the BoatU.S. Foundation. Believing that pairing online education with on-water skills training would result in safer boaters, he spearheaded the development of the NSBC on-water training program. 

After the creation of the NSBC Instructor Certification program, Edmonston worked closely with the NSBC to establish the Boat Control On-Water Training Course, which is designed to teach boat handling skills to recreational boaters or personnel hired to operate a vessel used in marine patrol. 

“Over his career, Chris has made boating safety education more accessible for thousands of America’s boaters and forged strong partnerships within the recreational boating safety and marine industries,” said Robert Newsome, chair of the National Safe Boating Council. “We are grateful for his leadership and continued efforts to make boating accessible and safe. Chris, welcome to the NSBC Boating Safety Hall of Fame!”

NSBC’s Executive Director Peg Phillips, 2023 Boating Safety Hall of Fame Recipient Chris Edmonston, NSBC Board Chair Robert Newsome

From work at marinas, dealerships, retail stores, and a nearly 25-year career at the BoatU.S. Foundation, Edmonton has been a moving force within the recreational boating safety and marine communities. He worked his way up through various leadership positions at BoatU.S. and now serves as its Foundation president. 

Edmonston has extensive knowledge of state and federal laws that pertain to boating, and environmental issues that affect boating. He has made a nationwide impact through involvement with national entities, including Center for Sportfishing Policy, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, National Boating Safety Advisory Committee, National Safe Boating Council, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Association, United States Power Squadrons, and more.

“The NSBC wouldn’t be where it is today without the efforts of Chris Edmonston,” said Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. “His work not only further equipped the council to educate and train safe boaters, but also advanced the work of the industry as a whole. Chris is not just a team player, but a coach, and we are honored to induct him into the NSBC Boating Safety Hall of Fame.”

In addition, Edmonston has been recognized by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Boating Industry Magazine, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary National Commodore, and more. 

A native Marylander, Edmonston has been boating his entire life and continues to boat with his family on the Chesapeake Bay. 

The NSBC’s Boating Safety Hall of Fame was established in 1995 and recognizes individuals who have made, or continue to generate, substantial and lasting contributions toward the advancement of recreational boating safety. Learn more at