Nonprofits and community-based 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 are encouraged to apply.
WATSONVILLE, CALIFORNIA—West Marine kicked off its annual grant cycle for its nonprofit, BlueFuture, which provides grant support to nonprofits and community-based organizations that promote water life adventure, education and recreation for young people across the nation.
The boating supply and fishing retailer opened the grant cycle Dec. 1. Nonprofits and community-based 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 can apply for grant funding through Dec. 31.
“We are proud to provide this opportunity to deserving nonprofits and organizations across the country that are dedicated to giving kids water life education and experiences,” said Ken Seipel, CEO of West Marine, in a released statement. “Now more than ever we recognize the importance of getting kids out on the water. Many organizations lost their sources of funding in 2020 and we knew we needed to continue with BlueFuture and support these nonprofit organizations that provide kids, especially those who may not have the opportunity, with a path to engage with boating, fishing, marine sciences and conservation.”
Nonprofits interested in applying can visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture to fill out and submit an online form. Grants are unrestricted, allowing the recipient to determine how the funding will be used. The applications will be reviewed after the grant period closes on Dec. 31 and all winners will be notified by the end of February 2021, with grants scheduled to be distributed in March 2021.
Running concurrent with the grant cycle is the 2020 Month of Giving campaign. Throughout the month of December, customers can make donations both online and in-person at all West Marine stores and 100 percent of the proceeds raised will benefit the BlueFuture grants program. Those that donate in-store will receive a personalized “IGave…” gift tag to be displayed in the store throughout the month.
“We’re thrilled to once again be raising money to support the BlueFuture program,” Seipel said in a released statement. “With the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, we are excited to inspire our youth with an introduction to a hobby that’s as unique and exciting as getting out on the water, especially those who might otherwise not have the resources to do so.”
In 2019, the BlueFuture program supported 27 youth-focused, community-focused organizations, including Orange County Coast Keeper, based in Costa Mesa, and Reef Check Foundation, based in Marina del Rey. To learn more about BlueFuture, visit westmarine.com/BlueFuture.