Grant money out there for safe boating
WHO knew there is so much grant money out there to help finance safe boating efforts?
The subject of last week's Water Ways column was the national boat owners association, BoatU.S., search for applicants for its safe boating projects awards. And now, after a check of the National Safe Boating Council's Web site, I find there are several more grants available.
One, called the "Take 'em Boating" grant, has been created to promote and develop interest in boating for future generations.
Funded by the OMC Foundation on behalf of the former employees of the Outboard Marine Corporation, the grant is awarded annually to a youth program that brings kids ages 6-18 safely into boating while promoting the future of the marine industry through environmental education, safety awareness, and boating enjoyment, the NSBC's Web site explains.
"It's important to show our youth the benefits of getting out on the water in boats, showing kids that exercise and fresh air are a great lifestyle," said NSBC Executive Director Virgil Chambers.
This could be something of an understatement considering that computer gaming and hanging out at the mall have become nearly national pastimes for our nation's youth. And worse, it was recently announced that as many as two-thirds of Hawaii's children haven't even learned to swim.
The "Take 'em Boating" grant program provides a single cash award of up to $5,000, and any innovative youth program that helps children get into boating in a safe, environmentally aware manner will be considered for funding.
Organizations such as yacht club youth sailing programs or, particularly in Hawaii, outrigger canoe club junior paddler programs would seem to be natural contenders for this grant.
The selection criteria include the number of youth involved in the program, the longevity of the program, and the availability of the program for possible duplication and use by other individuals or groups.
Evaluators will be looking for programs that are unique and have a primary goal of increasing actual physical involvement of youth in boats, whether it is with power, sail, or manually propelled vessels.
According to the rules, the award money may be used to purchase necessary equipment, audiovisual aids, printing, teaching aids, program promotion and advertisement, rental of waterfront facilities, transportation costs to on-water sites, or other costs associated with the program.
On the other hand, the rules note that the award funds may not be used for wages, salaries, repairs or personal travel.
For a complete set of the rules and an application for this grant, those interested should visit the NSBC's Web site at www.SafeBoatingCouncil.org.
The NSBC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established for the advancement and promotion of safer boating through education, and is comprised of more than 333 national, regional and local boating and water safety agencies, organizations, and corporations that are committed to boating safety.