Water Sports Foundation Awarded Six Non-Profit Boating Safety Grants by U.S. Coast Guard

Orlando, FL August 3, 2018: Since 2011, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF) has been a significant boating safety partner for the U.S. Coast Guard’s non-profit grant recreational boating safety program. For 2018, WSF submitted seven ideas each designed to positively affect boating safety culture. Six of the seven ideas were funded for a total of $940,000. The grants’ basic premise is to use the boating and paddling media to reach boaters and paddlers with reminders about safety such as always wearing a life jacket or the dangers of boating while intoxicated.

Three of the projects were submitted as a continuation of previous work and three will be new, creative ways to engage the boating public in a more significant an impactful way.

WSF will increase its contracts to include fourteen media providers in the powerboat, sail, and human propelled segments to produce and distribute outreach materials informing the public about the need for increased awareness of boating and paddling safety. The project titles and award amounts are listed below.

Renewed              Increasing Awareness of Safe Boating Practices                                       $400,000

Renewed              Increasing Awareness of Paddlesports Safety                                            $160,000

Renewed              Boating Safety Outreach for Limited English Proficiency                        $150,000

New                         Consequences of Irresponsible Behavior on the Water                          $ 75,000

New                         Lesson for Life: Accidents as Learning Experiences                                $ 80,000

New                         Retailer Targeted Boating & Paddling Safety                                             $ 75,000

Annual research to measure the public’s attitudes and behaviors about boating safety has been conducted since 2011 by several media providers. Follow up studies conducted in late 2017 and early 2018 show that the campaigns are changing the public’s attitudes and behaviors about safety. Most notably is the public’s attitude about wearing a life jacket which has improved in the past seven years. Additionally, the public has increased restrictions on the use of alcohol while boating. These are two major tenants of the boating safety outreach campaigns.

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Headquartered in Orlando, FL, the Water Sports Foundation is the non-profit educational arm of the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA.net). Since 2011 WSF has received U.S. Coast Guard boating and paddling safety outreach funding through the non-profit grant program. The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund administered through Congressional action provides funding for the U.S. Coast Guard’s recreational boating safety initiatives. For more Information call WSF at 407-719-8062.