However, some states are moving towards licensing boaters, much in the same way drivers are licensed.
This is very true. I believe many states now require it if you're under a certain age. But that is not new, as I had to do it in Ney York state back in 1962!
But the overall (operator) licensing of everyone has been considered as far back as the 70's. Personally I think it's a great idea and don't know what the hold up is. It would be a good way to hold operators more accountable for their actions!!