In a former life I was a media flack (and boater safety instructor, and area chief) for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the boating law administrator for Texas. In that role I got to talk about boating accidents and fatalities … a lot.
After fighting the boat manufacturing and dealership lobbies (they see any type of licensing or mandatory education as a barrier to sales), Texas finally implemented mandatory boater ed a couple of years ago, on a progressive (-- or is it “regressive?” – grandfathered, anyhow – i.e., first year, only those under 18, then those under 19, etc.) basis. Eventually, many years in the future, it will capture the folks with the disposable income and leisure time to purchase high-performance boats, sailboats, etc. Maybe the course (there is an approved national syllabus, very little difference between states) will be improved by then, too.
As it stands now, in Texas (and probably in many states), operators of paddle craft, small sailboats and small motorboats <10hp are exempted. That’s logical only if they are operating on small bodies of water not considered “navigable” waters.
I think it’s unlikely the Coast Guard is going to jump in on inland waterways, for the most part. Typically they leave that to the state boating law administrator or local law enforcement; in Texas, those guys have to have a marine safety enforcement certification (basically familiarization with the Texas Boater Safety Act).
For my part, I would be happy if recreational boaters simply monitored VHF 13/16 (or even had radios handy) and communicated, and knew the basics of the navigation rules.
Another avenue might be to reach out to local US Power Squadron/Coast Guard Auxiliary/Yacht Clubs/Fishing Clubs (though of course the former two are home to probably more knowledgeable recreational boaters) and offer to give a talk on safety from the commercial mariner’s perspective. Many of the recreational guys really have no idea that their 17-ft fiberglass fishing boat looks like a wavetop or bird on radar, if they show up at all, or that if they’d just talk to us we’d tell them which direction we’re going or that it takes me a minimum of four boat lengths (mine, not theirs) to stop. And it would be terrific if my blowboat brethren did not uniformly believe they are always privileged.