West Marine's annual Marine Grant Program application period is open from now until May 1. Five to 10 grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from US $500 to US $5,000 per recipient.
The North American marine retail chain will announce the winners of the grants World Oceans Day, June 8.
West Marine says its the Marine Grant Program is designed to improve and conserve the marine environment. The grants will be awarded to projects that enhance fish populations, including those that:
• engage anglers in data collection
• enhance marine habitats
• educate anglers about fish barotrauma
Grants will be awarded through a formal application process. Interested organizations must submit their proposal directly to West Marine. All applications will be reviewed and winners selected by West Marine's Marine Conservation Action Team (MCAT).
Preference will be given to organizations that have neighbouring West Marine stores and that engage West Marine associates and customers in conservation and data collection efforts. The organization says applicants must demonstrate sound financial policies and management for their company as well as scientific substantiation for their projects.
Since 1994, West Marine says it has donated nearly US $5 million to non-profit organizations supporting youth boating, boating safety and the marine environment.
Applications are available at www.westmarine.com/bluefuture