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July 07, 2011

Sportfishing and boating industries support FishAmerica’s programs

Gifts will ensure long-term success of grant programs

Alexandria, VA – The FishAmerica Foundation has received donations from the Bonnier Corporation, Brunswick Public Foundation and the Mercury Marine National Walleye Tournament to support its mission to help keep the nation’s sportfish and their habitat healthy.

“We are proud that these companies have chosen to support FishAmerica’s efforts, especially during these difficult economic times,” said the foundation’s Executive Director Johanna Laderman. “The future of fishing depends on healthy sportfish populations and habitat and FishAmerica’s mission to enhance sportfish populations, restore sportfish habitat and improve water quality will ensure many sportfishing opportunities for generations to come.”

Bonnier Corporation made a $10,000 donation to the FishAmerica Gulf Fund in support of fisheries conservation and habitat restoration in the Gulf of Mexico. The FishAmerica Gulf Fund was created in 2005 in response to the devastating impact that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had on sportfish in the Gulf and was expanded in April 2010 to include the Gulf oil spill disaster. Funding from the Gulf Fund has been used to restore habitat along the Texas and Mississippi coasts providing much-needed refuge, spawning and rearing habitat to ensure the survival Gulf sportfish in areas not directly affected by the oil spill.

The Brunswick Public Foundation contributed $35,000 to the FishAmerica Foundation’s grants program. When matched with funds from the NOAA Restoration Center and leveraged with an additional $1.3 million from the local communities, the grant will provide funding for six grassroots projects to restore marine and estuarine habitat critical to marine fish. Over the past ten years, the Brunswick Public Foundation has awarded $230,000 to the foundation which leveraged these dollars with $11 million through the foundation’s partnership with the NOAA Restoration Center and local communities. Since 2000, more than 15,000 acres of wetlands and 32 miles of riverine fisheries habitat in thirteen coastal states have been – enhanced for fishing and boating opportunities.

Mercury Marine presented $3,000 to the FishAmerica Foundation from donations made by tournament anglers through its National Walleye Tournament. Since 1983, the tournament has donated $3,000 a year to FishAmerica totaling $84,000 – giving anglers the perfect opportunity to give back to the resource.