BoatU.S. Foundation distributes Clean Water grants

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water honored Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, N.Y., with its 2007 Clean Water Grant Excellence Award and announced over $50,000 in new grants to 19 groups across the country for its 2008 Clean Water Grant program.

The Clean Water Grants Excellence Award is bestowed on the group that completes the year's most innovative, resourceful and effective Clean Water Grant project, BoatU.S. said in a release.

The Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County will receive an additional $1,000 to use towards last year's grant project that created positive posters encouraging boaters to stow their trash and prevent marine debris.

"The finished product is a set of professional looking posters with positive messages that convey the importance of keeping our waterways clean." said BoatU.S. Foundation Director of Environmental Programs Susan Shingledecker. "The Excellence Award recognizes their efforts and will allow them to continue their work educating boaters.”

More than 60 applications for the 2008 Clean Water Grant cycle, which focused on educating boaters about preventing the spread of invasive species, were received. Of the 19 grants selected for funding, projects ranged from creating signs about invasive species boat cleaning procedures, to a project that surveys boaters about their awareness of invasive species.

Since 1988, the Foundation has awarded over a quarter of a million dollars in Clean Water Grants to fund projects that promote clean boating at the local level. Each year applications are made available in the fall with a Feb. 1 deadline. Funds are derived from the voluntary contributions of the 650,000 members of Boat Owners Association of The United States.

The grant recipients were

  • Denver, Colo. – Colorado Watershed Network will create and disseminate an invasive species informational brochure to registered boaters in Colorado. The brochure will focus on decontamination of boats and fishing gear to avoid the transport of invasive species.
  • Denver, Colo. – U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary 08-01-02 will create two plaques to educate boaters on invasive species and other clean water tips. The organization will also build and attach fuel absorbent towel dispensers and provide an approved EPA container to dispose of the towels and provide a fuel/oil spill boom and container for the marina.
  • Lakeland, Fla. – Lakeland Sail and Power Squadron will post signs at 30 local boat ramps throughout Polk County, Fla., describing the proper way to prevent the spreading of invasive animals and plants.
  • Gainesville, Ga. – Lake Lanier Association will facilitate cleanups of the shoreline by residents and civic groups with an ongoing Shore Super Sweep Cleanup program.
  • Marion, Ill. – River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area will install 45 educational signs at high-priority boat ramps throughout the region. These signs will present the threat of aquatic invasive species, the potential for them to be spread by boats and trailers, and encourage boaters to inspect and remove all plant material from their equipment before moving to another body of water.
  • Kingsford, Mich. – Dickenson County Lakes and Stream Coalition will provide boaters with a designated bag to facilitate bagging of snagged Eurasian watermilfoil strands and to prevent the fragments from being transported elsewhere. They also will establish designated invasive species trash barrels for the county's busiest launches.
  • Watersmeet, Mich. – Invasive Species Control Corporation of Watersmeet will train volunteers to be educators, producing and distributing educational materials including 15,000 placemats and seven signs for boat landings.
  • Brooklyn Center, Minn. – Wildlife Forever will create two billboards in the Great Lakes region using the Stop Aquatic Hitchhiker's campaign. The billboards will be displayed for three months during the summer.
  • Hickory, N.C. – Western Piedmont Council of Governments will develop a shared low profile two-sided outdoor aquatic plant display that moves to several locations. Other promotional material at the display will include hydrilla hunt cards and trailer bumper stickers.
  • Valley City, N.D. – Barnes County Wildlife Federation District 24 will educate outdoors persons on the harmful effects of aquatic nuisance species, in particular, Eurasian watermilfoil by erecting four kiosks for educational material.
  • Brooklyn, N.Y. – Going Coastal will produce an invasive species poster that will be displayed at marinas, boat ramps, boating clubs, tackle shops, retailers and other high traffic locations for boaters.
  • Cooperstown, N.Y. – Otsego County Conservation Association will create signage and fliers to raise awareness about water chestnut, Eurasian watermilfoil, and the zebra mussels in local waterways. The signs will be posted at three local lakes and the fliers will be distributed to local lake associations, through an invasive species boat inspection program and at local events.
  • Marietta, Ohio – Friends of Lower Muskingum River will place signs showing what actions boat owners can take to clean boats at four launch ramps and inside of the most heavily used lock chambers in the river.
  • Jasper, Tenn. – River Cleanup Alliance will conduct an art contest in local schools where students will design invasive species posters. The posters will be judged and displayed at the Marion County Fair. The Alliance will have brochures designed to distribute at the fair. Placemats will also be designed for use at a local marina, bait shop, and at other community functions.
  • Waco, Texas – Keep Waco Beautiful will reach boaters, paddlers, youth and other citizens who utilize Lake Waco by targeting them with information in an invasive plant awareness campaign. The awareness campaign will include brochures at marinas and boat dealers, kiosk and trailhead signs at Lake Waco boat ramps.
  • Saxtons River, Vt. – Connecticut River Watershed Council will develop a "Clean Boats = Healthy Rivers" campaign in which local marinas, rowing clubs, etc. become "Clean Boat" ambassadors. Ambassadors receive training materials about how boats and equipment should be cleaned to reduce the spread of invasive species, signs to display at their businesses and brochures to distribute to customers.
  • Oak Harbor, Wash. – Boy Scouts of America, Troop 144 survey boaters at public marinas and disseminate educational materials on invasive species.
  • Madison, Wis. – North American Lake Management Society will create a series of baseball-size cards focusing on different aquatic invasive species, their identification and a few simple steps that recreational boaters can take to prevent their spread to other lakes.
  • Sturtevant, Wis. – Wisconsin Harbor Towns Association will produce and distribute 22,000 attractive and positive educational brochures to boaters and tourists. The title of the brochure is "Simple Solutions for Healthy Great Lakes." The brochures will be distributed at marinas, tourism centers, trade and boat shows, and conferences and by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
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