Making local waterways safer and cleaner for boaters with BoatUS Foundation Grant

Do you have an idea that could improve boating safety or the environmental health of your local waters? The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water Grassroots Grant program provides local groups up to $10,000 each to help educate boaters on safe and clean boating topics. A 365-day rolling grant application process allows applicants to apply at any time throughout the year. To get started, all a local group has to do is submit a short letter of intent explaining its idea.

The goal of the BoatUS member-funded program is to facilitate behavioral changes in the boating community through grassroots projects, some of which have ranged from hands-on education about the effects of marine debris, video public service announcements on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, and a unique pilot study of fiberglass recycling.

“Think big. Think never-been-done-before,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Outreach Alanna Keating. “Is the project potentially scalable? Is there extensive outreach to boaters? Does it include hands-on work with the boating community? Does it offer quantifiable measures of success?”

Added Keating, “Over the past year we have seen a surge in new boat owners who have never owned or operated a boat before. Is there a way our grant program can help these first-time boaters improve their focus on safety or clean water, which can have an impact over the course of their boating life?”

Boat and yacht clubs, environmental groups, nonprofit organizations, student groups or local chapters of national organizations such as BASS, U.S. Power Squadrons and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary are encouraged to apply. The timeline for grant projects is one year or less.

Grant funding is not designed for capital improvements or general operating funds, projects that include lobbying efforts or political action, or those that provide specialized training or equipment for the recipient group members. Expenses for transportation, meals or lodging, purchase of electronic hardware/software, or boats and other boating gear are also not covered.

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Since 1989, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.3 million in boating safety and clean water grants to organizations. For more information or to apply, go to BoatUS.org/Grants.

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