In Case You Missed It - December 4, 2015 News

Our weekly coverage of the latest industry news, conservation notices and more.

This Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5-6, West Marine customers will have a holiday-inspired opportunity to support the organization’s BlueFuture Fund™ at stores across North America. Give Back Weekend is the official kickoff for the company’s three-week December fundraiser, which ends Dec. 24. BlueFuture paper ornaments will be available for purchase at all 265 West Marine store locations, and 100 percent of the proceeds collected from ornament sales will go to benefit the not-for-profit fund. “To support BlueFuture, a customer simply purchases an ornament, prints his or her name on it, and adds it to the store’s ‘Wall of Giving,’” says Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications. “The ornament will remain on display until the fundraiser ends Dec. 24.” According to Johnson, Give Back Weekend and the weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday are critical for the continued growth of the BlueFuture Fund, which distributes tens of thousands of dollars annually to dozens of not-for-profit organizations, many of which are focused on youth-based recreation and educational initiatives in, on and around the water. “This fundraiser ensures that we can expand BlueFuture in 2016, broadening its reach to include even more organizations across North America,” Johnson says. “These are much-needed grants for community-based programs, whose value is immeasurable when it comes to getting young people out on the water — learning new hands-on skills, engaging with marine sciences and sustainability practices, and so much more.” The BlueFuture Fund’s 2015 grantees included the Alameda Community Sailing Center in Alameda, Calif.; Community Boating Center in Providence, R.I.; Merrohawke Nature School in Newburyport, Mass.; Navesink Maritime Heritage Association in Monmouth, N.J.; and Kids Can Fish Too in Port Orange, Fla., among several other youth-based organizations. West Marine is the world’s leading Waterlife Outfitter. It created the BlueFuture Fund in May 2015 to provide ongoing support to the causes that lie at the heart of its own mission: To nurture marine resources, reduce impact on the environment and promote waterfront recreation. “We encourage all of our Associates, vendors, customers and friends to support the continued growth of BlueFuture, and to recommend worthy, not-for-profit organizations that are involved with youth boating, conservation and sustainability,” Johnson says. “We recognize that grant funding is a vital piece of the annual budget for many of these organizations, and we want to do our part to help.” BlueFuture is a donor-advised fund set up through the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County. All donations are fully tax-deductible. Interested supporters may visit a West Marine store location to purchase an ornament from Give Back Weekend through Dec. 24. To learn more about the BlueFuture Fund, visit

New Study Suggests Angler Education Can Benefit Sharks

A new study finds fisher education can help protect vulnerable shark populations. The research, led by University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science scientists, showed that recreational anglers were more supportive of shark management and conservation if they had prior knowledge of shark conservation. Read more here.

Take Action: Sportsman's Act Needs Your Help

The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 continues to move through Congress, and the next stop is the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The committee will likely vote on this important bill next week, and they need to hear directly from you how vital the various provisions are. If the bill is not passed, there will be significant impacts that negatively affect recreational fishing access and fisheries conservation: - The federal government will have an open field to regulate your tackle box and ban traditional fishing equipment you use regularly. - Dedication of millions of dollars and resources needed for fish habitat restoration will be lost. - Expiration of the most successful wetlands habitat restoration program in America, jeopardizing decades of progress in restoring wetlands. Read more here.

Nova Southeastern University & Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts Present Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival

What do you get when you combine world-class fishing, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and world-renowned conservationist and artist Guy Harvey? A one-of-a-kind marine conservation festival and tournament in the Florida Keys! NSU is proud to be part of the Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival, to be held in the sportfishing capital of the world – Islamorada – in the Florida Keys. The three-day event is scheduled for June 16-19 2016, with management provided by Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts. Formerly named the Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament, the event has been moved to the historic Islander Resort for 2016, a Guy Harvey Outpost destination in Islamorada. The event will include a premier, not-for-profit fishing tournament; innovative art exhibits featuring recycled materials, conservation organization displays and local vendors, all showcased in a 100 tent “Conchservation Village; cyber on-the-water release documentation for research using the IGHOfish App; and watersport demonstrations and competitions. Read more here.