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Tap into a BoatUS Foundation grassroots grant to improve local waterways and support boating safety

by Scott Croft 9 Mar 00:20 UTC
Projects that improve local water quality or support boating safety can be funded with a BoatUS Foundation Grassroots Grant © Rozalia Project

Does your local organization or group wish to keep waters clean or improve boating safety and could use some money to make it happen?

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. There is no annual deadline to apply — a 365-day rolling grant application process allows applicants to apply at any time throughout the year. To get started, simply submit a short letter of intent explaining a clean water or boating safety grant idea.

The goal of the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) member-funded program is to help make behavioral changes in the boating community through grassroots projects. Some previously funded programs have included 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 when submitting your letter of intent," said BoatUS Foundation Director of Outreach Alanna Keating. "How does your idea include outreach to boaters? Is there hands-on volunteer work with the boating community? How can we measure success? Is the grant project potentially scalable?"

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.

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

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