August 2007

BoatUS Foundation Funds Grassroots Environmental Projects

USCGA 9-4 Of Mohave Valley, Ariz., A Recipient

USCGA 9-4 of Mohave Valley, Ariz., has been given one of the BoatUS Foundation Clean Water grants. Their program includes distributing trash bags and an educational brochure to encourage boaters to "Take Out the Trash." The brochure will show dumpsters locations on Lake Mohave.

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, a national non-profit organization funded by the 650,000 members of Boat Owners Association of The United States, announced today its award of over $25,000 in Clean Water Grants to 13 grassroots organizations across the country. The annual grant program gives local groups up to $4,000 each to fund programs that reduce debris in our nation's waterways or for other clean-boating efforts. The Foundation has awarded nearly $1 million in grassroots grants since 1989.

With over 100 organizations applying, competition was very tight. The selected projects range from creating signage and brochures, to developing a litter collection contest and establishing a local marine debris reporting system.

"By working with these on-the-ground partners we are able to influence boaters with information that has a distinct local point of view," said Susan Shingledecker, director of Environmental Programs for the BoatUS Foundation. "It's exciting to see the interest in environmentally sound boating from groups all over the country," she added.

In addition to the 13 newly announced Clean Water Grants, The Foundation also completed its review of last year's Clean Water Grant programs and has awarded its "Clean Water Grants Excellence Award" to the Oyster Bay Power Squadron of Oyster Bay, N.Y.

The Excellence Award — which comes with an additional $1,000 to continue their efforts educating boaters — is given annually to the one organization that achieves the greatest success in completing their Clean Water Grant project.

The Oyster Bay Power Squadron grant project included the creation of signs and brochures to help educate boaters about the availability of pumpout stations with reminders about clean fueling. Both the signs and the laminated brochures were colorful, easy-to-read and looked very professional.

"The Oyster Bay Power Squadron put a lot of effort into their project. They were enthusiastic from the very beginning and worked hard to incorporate our feedback into the final product," said Shingledecker.

The 13 groups selected for Clean Water Grants funding this year are the following:

Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County in Centerport, N.Y., to develop a waterproof poster for marinas, yacht clubs and docks to educate boaters about marine debris.

Friends of Jackson County Conservation in Maquoketa, Iowa, to build and install three information kiosks (with monofilament recycling bins) along the Mississippi River in Jackson County, IA and to host a river clean up contest.

Lake Lanier Association from Gainesville, Ga., to install 124 bilingual "Do Not Litter" signs in parks and marinas and develop a radio public service announcement.

Lakes Restoration Committee of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber Foundation in Albert Lea, Minn., to purchase and distribute trash bags and buckets stating, "Put Trash in its Place, Not in Our Lakes."

Little Miami River Partnership from Owensville, Ohio, to conduct a marine debris education campaign including the construction of two kiosks, 10 signs and educational brochures.

Monroe Boat Club and Lake Erie Environmental Outreach Program of the Monroe Public Schools in Novi, Mich., to develop posters for distribution to all marinas, boat and yacht clubs, charter boats, and tackle stores with the theme " One Boat...One Bag Can Make a Difference." They will also provide cloth bags for boaters.

Patchogue Bay Power Squadron of East Islip, N.Y., to create and distribute a laminated placard that provides information on how to report marine debris and pollution. These will be included in the boating permit package

USCGA 9-4 of Mohave Valley, Ariz., to distribute trash bags and an educational brochure to encourage boaters to "Take Out the Trash." The brochure will show dumpsters locations on Lake Mohave.
USCGA 17-2-1 of Homer, Alaska, to purchase long-handled mesh nets and trash cans to help with debris disposal in Homer Harbor.

USCGA 54-20-06 of Washington, N.C., to enlist the help of the boating public in reporting incidents of marine debris and pollution by printing and distributing a reporting postcard that will promote a phone number to call for priority incidents, or a mail-in reporting system for other sightings.

USCGA 5S-3-10 from Tappahannock, Va., to erect signs at local marinas, giving boaters step by step instructions for safely refueling boats.

USCGA 8CR-1-9 from Panama City Beach, Fla., to establish 10 information kiosks at public and private boat ramps, state parks, campsites and recreational islands. The kiosks will contain brochures on boating safety and environmental issues.

USCGA 9-3-2 from Lancaster, N.Y., to establish three environmental educational stations at the Buffalo, NY, small boat harbor and a local recycling center.