The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation will open its 2021 grants cycle for the George H.W. Bush Vamos a Pescar Education Fund by October 31, 2020. The grants will provide key program funding to support local organizations nationwide in their initiatives to engage Hispanic Americans in fishing, boating, and conserving our waterways.
A record breaking number of Hispanic Americans — a total of 4.4 million — participate in recreational fishing, according to RBFF's 2020 Special Report on Fishing. Despite this achievement, Hispanic Americans are still underrepresented on the water. Hispanics make up 18% of the U.S. population but only 9% of Hispanic Americans are fishing participants.
"Especially in the midst of this year's Hispanic Heritage Month, when people are spending more time outdoors than ever before, we're excited to celebrate the record number of Hispanics enjoying fishing and boating in the U.S.," said Stephanie Vatalaro, RBFF's senior vice president of marketing and communications. "Fishing and boating have been shown in studies to contribute to many wellness benefits, so it's essential to ensure equitable access to these activities. The water is open to everyone, and the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund grants are an important means of welcoming diverse newcomers to the fishing and boating community.
In 2020, the Education Fund received a $50,000 donation from Bass Pro Shops to help fund the 2021 grants. In honor of President George H.W. Bush, Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris initially donated in 2014 to bring conservation education and fishing and boating experiences to Hispanic families across the country.
"We are pleased to continue our support to help more Hispanic families discover the joy of fishing and boating," said Bob Ziehmer, Conservation Director for Bass Pro Shops. "We're dedicated to helping all families connect to nature, and each other, through fun, outdoor recreational activities."
The 2021 Grant Guidelines will be available for download by October 31, 2020. Interested organizations can visit www.TakeMeFishing.org/EducationFund to learn more. The website also features beginner resources, including how-to guides for getting started fishing and boating, an interactive map of places to fish and boat, as well as links to COVID-19 safety guidelines.