In honor of World Oceans Day, West Marine, the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, today announced the recipients of their annual Marine Conservation Grants program.
Grants for a total amount of $35,000 are being awarded to organizations throughout the U.S. who are working to “improve and protect marine habitat,” which is part of West Marine’s mission. This year’s grant recipients are located in Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Hawaii, California and Virginia.
“West Marine is proud to support recreational fishing, scientific and marine environmental groups who are working together for abundant and healthy habitats and fish stocks,” said Randy Repass, chairman and founder of West Marine. “The work of these organizations will benefit recreational fishing, sustainable commercial fishing and help to enhance fish populations for today’s anglers and future generations.”
The 10 grants awarded focused on projects that enhance fish populations including; (1) engaging anglers in data collection and tagging, (2) enhancing marine habitat, (3) educating anglers, (4) encouraging policies that maintain healthy fish stocks.
The Hawaii Recipients of the West Marine Conservation Grants for 2012:
- Pacific Islands Fisheries Group: The Pacific Islands Fisheries Group (PIFG) was established to help keep Pacific Island fishermen engaged and informed on the management and conservation of fishery resources. PIFG administers and supports programs that benefit marine and fishery resources, enhances fishing experiences and encourages responsible fishing. Find more information about PIFG at www.fishtoday.org.The grant will support PIFG’s Statewide Tagging Challenge for tournaments. Tagging raises awareness about the science and management of local fisheries and contributes valuable data to local and national fisheries management.
- The Ocean Foundation Tag-a-Giant Fund: The Tag-A-Giant Fund supports research on highly migratory fishes and promotes innovative policy and conservation initiatives based on this research. Led by Stanford University Professor of Marine Sciences Dr. Barbara Block, Tag-A-Giant has played a key role in integrating cutting-edge research into discussions of fisheries policy and marine spatial planning, particularly as it concerns bluefin tuna. You can learn more about them by visiting www.tagagiant.org.Funds will be used to purchase a tag for the HIBT Great Marlin Race. The Great Marlin Race is collaboration between Stanford University, the Hawaiian International Billfish tournament and IGFA. Tags deployed on blue marlin during tournaments provide valuable data for researchers.
West Marine’s Marine Conservation Grants are awarded through a formal application process in which interested organizations must submit their proposal directly to West Marine. All applications are reviewed and evaluated by a dedicated and experienced cross-functional team of senior West Marine leaders.
Those applying must show sound financial policies and management with a key focus in marine conservation, habitat restoration and sustainable fisheries. These activities may cover water clean-up, habitat protection and restoration, ocean science and conservation projects that relate to key marine species, water quality, sustainable ocean use, etc.
Since 1994, West Marine has donated nearly $5,000,000 to non-profit organizations that support youth boating, boating safety and the marine environment. For more information about the Marine Conservation Grants program, please visit www.westmarine.com.