West Marine is giving $40,000 worth of Marine Conservation Grants this year. Originally, the target for the annual program was to distribute $30,000, but company officials felt there were more worthy projects submitted than it anticipated.
Since 1994, West marine has donated nearly $5 million to programs for youth boating, boating safety and the marine environment. Here are this year’s 13 Marine Conservation Grant winners:
• Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries, which will provide education about barotrauma and measure the effectiveness of devices to combat it. (Barotrauma occurs when bottom fish suffer from sudden pressure change after being brought to the water’s surface.)
• The Jones River Watershed Association, which will outfit its boat Blue Future to collect data in the bays and estuary near Kingston, Massachusetts.
• The Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s Angler Action Program, which will enhance its iAngler app to help Florida fishermen contribute to state-level fisheries management.
• Coastal Angler Science Team, which will help researchers and anglers collect data through a rewards and incentive program near Miami, Florida.
• TISRI, which stands for “Think It, Sink It, Reef It” and which will clean up trash and fishing line on reefs in near Jacksonville, Florida.
• Coastal Conservation Association North Sound, which will work with the Department of Fish & Wildlife in Washington state to plant salmon carcasses for nutrient-enrichment purposes in streams, thus improving the habitat for salmon and steelhead smolts.
• Recreational Fisheries Research Institute, which will continue its Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program in and around Covington, Louisiana.
• The Sportfishing Conservancy, which will create a summer-long National Marine Sanctuary “Classic” photography and fishing contest in all marine sanctuaries.
• Coastside Fishing Club, which will create a Rockfish Barotrauma Awareness Program near Central Coast, California.
• Golden Gate Salmon Association, which will oversee 24 scientific research projects to provide more and better spawning and rearing habitat for salmon from California to Oregon.
• Sea Change, which will perform eelgrass restoration along the coast of Brentwood Bay, British Columbia.
• Pacific Islands Fisheries Group, which will run the Oio and Ulua/Papio tagging project in and around Honolulu, Hawaii.
• Water4Fish, which will summarize data to help California legislators learn more about water management policies that protect fish.
Learn more about all of the 2013 winners, as well as about the West Marine Conservation Grants, at www.westmarine.com.