01 2014 Program Accomplishments
New Course Partners:
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- United States Coast Guard Auxilary
- Clean Boating
- Spill Prevention and Response
- Weather for Boaters
More than 10,000 Fans on Facebook:
- Reach of over 2 Million
- Rock the Life Jacket contest
- Grassroots Grants Voting
- Kids Afloat Voting
Kids Afloat Stats:
- Nearly 1,000 life jackets provided at $5 each
- Served over 20,000 kids in 2014
- Oddest PLB Rental: Sailor transiting alligator infested waters wanted peace-of-mind.
- Safest Crew: 1 boat EPIRB and 4 Crew PLBs.
60 Videos Produced:
- Grassroots Grants Call for Applications
- Advice from Previous Grant Recipients
- Foundation Findings Oil Spill Product Testing
- Partner in Command: Know Your Controls
New Educational Materials:
- Rules of the Road Decal Redesign
- How to fit a Life Jacket Infographic
- Inflatable Life Jacket Maintenance Infographics
Published results of Oil Product testing examining 20 products that deal with oil and fuel spills
Free State Course Enrollments:
- 2013: 94,792
- 2014: 109,664
02 Letter From the President:
A Year at the BoatU.S. Foundation:
In the not too distant past, the Foundation focused heavily on printed materials, having a phone center, and working on just a handful of safety and environmental issues on any given day. It really amazes me how times have changed, and changed so rapidly. 2014 was an evolutionary year for the Foundation, as we continued our efforts to modernize our programs and better use technology to educate boaters—all the while becoming more involved in a wide array of topics that affect boaters. We’ve done this not only through technology, but also through collaborative efforts with other organizations, such as the National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and several other groups. These partnerships greatly expand the reach of the Foundation, and we hope that you will agree that we are now touching more people than we ever have.
We hope you enjoy reading about the Foundation’s accomplishments achieved over the course of 2014, and feel that the wonderful staff at the BoatU.S. Foundation is working hard to ensure that boating is safer, and are waterways cleaner, so that you can enjoy boating for years to come.
Chris Edmonston President BoatU.S. Foundation
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is an innovative leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. The Foundation provides educational outreach directly to boaters and supports partner organizations nationwide.
With millions of boaters on the water, our aim is to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of our waterways and keep boating a safe and enjoyable pastime. The BoatUS Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our work is primarily funded by grants and individual donations.
What Does Boating Mean to You?
Life Jacket Design Competition Call for Entries
04 Online Education
Students completed our Free Online Boating Safety course in 2014
Percent increse of total students completing a course over 2013.
States where our Free Online Boating Safety Course is NASBLA approved.
The BoatU.S. Foundation still offers the only free online boating safety course nationwide allowing anyone with a computer to access free boating safety information customized for their state or any state they want to learn more about.
Specialized Online Courses:
We also added to our growing list of online learning partners this year, developing courses for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary in addition to launching our Weather for Boaters course for the United States Power Squadrons. NFWF funded the development of a series of free Clean Boating courses as well as a Spill Prevention, Planning and Response course for marina staff.
Our advanced/specialized online learning team skills include:
05 EPIRB and PLB Program
Hover over the circle to learn more!
In 2014, the staff of the EPIRB rental program shipped 204 orders. Of those orders, about one-third were for the small and less expensive personal locator beacon, a significant increase over 2013. Every two years, each beacon registration must be renewed with NOAA. This year all units were renewed bringing the fleet of more than 100 emergency beacons current up through 2016.
"This unit saved our lives – thank you!!!" 2014 Renter
07 Life Jacket Loaner Program
In 2014 we create new educational materials for our Life Jacket Loaner Program including an infographic to help demonstrate how to properly fit a life jacket. These materials along with a new video that is in development will be circulated to all our life jacket loaner sites in 2015.
This year we continued our Kids Afloat program which supports camps and community groups that teach safe and clean boating.
We provided nearly 1,000 life jackets to these groups at a discounted rate of $5 each.
The jackets have served over 20,000 kids in one year alone.
08 Life Jacket Design Competition
Continuing our efforts to spur innovation in the life jacket industry, together with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) we launched our 3rd Innovations in Life Jacket Design Competition.
This competition challenges entrants to design a better life jacket. Finalists entries were posted to Facebook and our website to allow the public to weigh in on the jackets they would wear and the winner was announced in Spring of 2015 at the International Boatbuilders Exposition (IBEX).
09 Marine Debris
Marine debris prevention has continued as a key focus for the Foundation’s clean boating efforts.
The monofilament fishing line recycling program continues to grow with requests for sign and decals to accompany bins coming in every week.
Our Cigarette Litter Prevention program in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful partnered with 18 marinas in 2014, giving them the tools they need to help prevent cigarette litter at the water’s edge. This year, participating marinas saw on average a 68 percent reduction in the amount of litter as a result of the program.
The Foundation's website is one of our primary tools for delivering education to boaters. In 2014 we had nearly 740,000 visitors to the Foundation website viewing our educational content almost 7 million times.
We also secured a Google grant allowing us to better promote our programs to the boating public through the search engine.
We took a close look at our analytics and began a comprehensive plan to redesign the website making it easier to navigate and giving it a fresh, modern look. The redesign will be implemented gradually throughout 2015 and we expect it to be completed in 2016.
Our in-house videographer created 60+ videos that range from course videos, program videos, foundation findings, and contest announcements and we used those videos both on web pages and our social sites to make our content even more engaging.
Youtube Views in 2014.
At the BoatU.S. Foundation we are fortunate to have a loyal base of BoatU.S. members who support us when they renew their membership.
In recent years we have been working to strengthen and diversify this base of support. In 2014 we launched two email giving campaigns, one centered around Earth Day and a second around the new movement of Giving Tuesday which asks people to support charitable causes after the hustle and bustle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Board of Trustees
Brian Wesselman, Chair
President and CEO of Boat America Corporation
Richard Schwartz, Vice Chair
Founder of BoatU.S.
Kirk La, Trustee
COO of Boat America Corporation
Margaret Podlich, Trustee
Bob Adriance, Trustee
Past Technical Director, BoatU.S.
Bernadette Bernon, Trustee
Past Editor of Cruising World Magazine
Jim Ellis, Trustee
Past President of BoatU.S.
Richard Moreland, Trustee
VP, T. Rowe Price Associates Chair, Audit & Finance Commitee
Ronald Peterson, Trustee
Retired VP, RIS Paper Co.
Robert Putnam, Trustee
CEO, Putnam-Ross Consulting Vice Chair, Audit & Finance Commitee
Ruth Wood, Trustee
Past President, BoatU.S. Foundation
880 South Picket Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22304
147 Old Solomon's Island Rd, Ste. 513
Annapolis, MD 21401