The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is looking for sportfishing, boating, and aquatic education programs that could use some financial assistance. As part of its efforts to re-engage youth, the PFBC is offering grants to organizations and local agencies involved in providing these types of programs.
Grantees can receive up to $5,000 as part of the PFBC’s Sportfishing and Aquatic Resource Education Grants. This funding can be applied to the purchase of equipment, materials and costs associated with field trips.
“Re-engaging youth in outdoor activities is critical to the future of boating and sportfishing and to building a more environmentally connected society,” said PFBC Executive Director Doug Austen. “Research clearly shows that well-structured youth fishing and boating programs lead to kids increasing their interest in fishing and boating, improving their skills, and building a greater sense of aquatic stewardship and outdoor ethics.
“It’s not enough for us to talk about wanting more and better programs to involve Pennsylvania’s youth. Funding must be made available for programs and services benefiting youth, and this grant program is a start,” Austen added.
This year, the commission awarded 10 grants from 18 applicants totaling approximately $50,000; in 2007 it awarded 18 grants from 47 applicants totaling approximately $67,000. A list and description of funded projects can be found on the PFBC Web site at http://www.fish.state.pa.us/grants.htm.
As part of the PFBC youth education efforts, more than 40,000 children receive the Pennsylvania League of Angling Youth (PLAY) newsletter from the commission four times a year; more than 5,000 Pennsylvania schoolteachers have been trained and use the PFBC’s aquatic education curriculum; and more than 400 PFBC fishing skills instructors teach thousands of children in angling basics annually. In addition, the commission provides equipment and support for 49 free tackle loaner sites statewide.
The deadline for submitting grant applications is Jan. 31, 2009. Successful applicants will be notified by April 15, 2009, and funding will be awarded four to eight weeks after all agreements are finalized. Applications, program rules and eligibility information are available at the commission’s Web site at www.fishandboat.com or by calling 717-705-7835. The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For information, visit our Web site at www.fishandboat.com.