Boat U.S. continues public outreach

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – While Boat Owners Association of the United States cooperating marinas are ramping up for National Marina Day August 11, the organization’s Foundation has also been busy awarding 13 groups with Clean Water Grants and honoring the Oyster Bay Power Squadron with its Excellence Award, BoatU.S. said in statements earlier this week.

National Marina Day

With the big day less than a month away, BoatU.S. and its 870 cooperating marinas are ramping up preparations for the annual event. National Marina Day is a grassroots effort to bring local community attention to the role marinas play in providing access to waterways.

Marina Day 2007 will focus on how marinas are family-friendly gateways to recreational boating. BBQs, music, raffles, charity fundraisers, beach clean-ups, regattas and boat safety demonstrations are all part of the festivities.

“Marinas are more than just a locally-run small business,” said Jim Schofield, BoatU.S. Cooperating Marina Program director and 2007 Marina Day committee member. “They are invaluable to the boating lifestyle and fulfill a critical need by providing waterway access and boating services. This event gives us an opportunity to share with town leaders how a marina contributes economically and allows a community to enjoy the water.”

Clean Water Grants

The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water recently awarded more than $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 the nation’s waterways or for other clean boating efforts. The Foundation has awarded nearly $1 million in grants since 1989.

With more 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, BoatU.S. Foundation director of environmental programs. “It’s exciting to see the interest in environmentally sound boating from groups all over the country.”

Excellence Award

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 boater education efforts – is given annually to the one organization that achieves the greatest success in completing its Clean Water Grant project.

The Oyster Bay Power Squadron grant project included creating 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,” Shingledecker said. “They were enthusiastic from the very beginning and worked hard to incorporate our feedback into the final product.”

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