Youth Boating Grants up for Grabs

West Marine is awarding $1,500 cash grants to organizations that teach youth boating, conservation, or marine science, and now is the time to apply.

Talbot County’s Freedom Rowers, a non-profit youth rowing team, received a BlueFuture grant in 2018. It serves student-athletes ages 13 to 18.

Nonprofit, community-based groups can apply for Spring 2019 BlueFuture grants from now through Sunday, March 31, with the 25 grant recipients announced by the end of April. West Marine is looking to award checks to organizations that “teach sailing, powerboating, fishing, paddling or surfing; provide boatbuilding instruction; foster aquatic sustainability and conservation practices; or encourage learning in the marine sciences.”

Groups chosen for the $1,500 grants can use the money without restriction, however they can best use it to further their mission.

“As an industry leader, we believe it’s our responsibility to teach new generations the benefits of spending time on the water,” said Laura Barry, director of marketing communications. “All of our BlueFuture grants go to nonprofit organizations that provide kids with the opportunity to engage with boating, fishing, marine sciences, and conservation.”

West Marine awards 50 BlueFuture grants nationwide each year, half in the spring and half in the fall. In 2018, grant recipients included Beneath the Waves in Reston, the Freedom Rowers in Easton, Friends of Sea Scouts of Maryland in Lusby, and the YMCA of South Hampton Roads’ JT’S Camp Grom in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Interested applicants can click here to fill out and submit an online form. Applications will be reviewed after the grant period closes on March 31, all winners will be notified by the end of April and grants are scheduled to be distributed in May.

-Meg Walburn Viviano