On behalf of the fabulous Foundation crew, I hope you enjoy reading about the accomplishments of 2015 found in this Annual Report. The boating community is ever evolving, and the Foundation has done quite a bit of evolving in 2015. From the launch of several new online courses, to testing the latest in Visual Distress Signaling (VDS) devices, to sponsoring a truly remarkable Life Jacket Design Competition, the Foundation continues to move forward to meet the ever changing needs of America’s boaters.
The Foundation touches hundreds of thousands of boaters every year with positive ways to keep our waters clean and to enjoy boating safely. Our programs are funded primarily through small donations from boaters like you. I hope that as you read this Annual Report, you can see the value in our programs and make the choice to help support our safe and clean boating mission.
BoatUS Foundation President
Orders shipped in 2015
Total activations since 1995
Lives saved since 1995
A kayaker participating in an 8-day endurance race called the Everglades Challenge.
A sailboat returning from the British Virgin Islands grounded hard and sank only miles from home.
The average rental length is two weeks.
New Life Jacket Loaner Sites Nationwide
Total Life Jacket Loaner Sites
Life Jackets Loaned Through The Program
Students enrolled in our specialized courses, with Weather for Boaters being the most popular.
Brand new specialized courses were developed, partnering with the United States Power Squadron.
Students completed our improved free online boating safety course.
Our second year of offering free spill prevention training for marinas continues to show demand for this program. This course designed for seasonal marina staff teaches the simple steps that can prevent spills at marinas, what staff should look for and what to do in case of a spill. In 2015, 289 marina staff received training on spill prevention techniques through our course. Our survey responses tell us that this training is making a difference preventing spills at marinas. 96% of respondents rated the course as “Excellent” or “Good” and 91% indicated that they have used the skills learned in the course of their job. A marina manager in Oregon told us, “We will be making this our new fuel dock employee mandatory training. It's excellent.” And another from Minnesota stated, “We have opened our eyes more to simply instructing our gas dock attendants/workers to pay more attention to spills and the importance to let management know if there is a spill even if it is small.”
Total applications for Grassroots Grants
Votes from the public on our applications
Grants awarded after a competitive voting phase
In funding awarded to the grant winners
In some parts of the country, aquatic invasive species are impacting boating access the boating experience dramatically. The presence of aquatic weeds can choke of launching facilities, large species such as carp can pose safety concerns, and most notably the threat of mussel infestations have the potential to restrict recreational boating access and have driven the creation of boat decontamination infrastructure.
In January of 2015, BoatUS Foundation staffed assisted with the facilitation of the Aquatic Invasive Species Summit hosted by the American Boat and Yacht Council and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to explore the challenges of boat design and boat inspections. This ground breaking effort brought together the boat manufacturing industry with the invasive species community so both groups could reach a better understanding of the impacts of decontamination in boats and the most challenging parts of boats to decontaminate.
This effort resulted in ABYC standing up a Product Technical Committee on Boat Design in Consideration of AIS. This group will produce a technical report to better inform boat manufacturers about the conditions their products may be exposed to in the course of the decontamination process. This committee is being chaired by Susan Shingledecker.
Partnering with two TowBoatU.S. towers and with funding from the NOAA Marine Debris program, the Foundation will remove derelict commercial fishing nets that have become entangled on reef structure offshore from Ocean City, MD. This work will be done in partnership with TowBoatU.S. Ocean City. We will also work with TowBoatU.S. South Shore (Ohio) to remove a sunken commercial fishing vessel with attached net. Both project sites are sensitive habitat with the Lake Erie site located just outside two National Wildlife Refuges and a State Park. We are aiming to highlight how our partnerships with TowBoatU.S. salvage resources can be a very cost effective public/private/nonprofit partnership solution to the challenge of large debris removal. BoatUS Foundation staff will be onsite for both efforts filming and interviewing stakeholders. This footage will be used to produce educational outreach materials.
Additionally the BoatUS Foundation received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Fishing for Energy Program, (add logos for NOAA, NFWF, Schnitzer Steel, Covanta Energy) to explore the relationship between recreational boater and the loss of commercial fixed fishing gear such as crab and lobster pots. At regional marine debris workshops around the country BoatUS Foundation staff heard that recreational boaters were often cited as one of the primary causes for commercial fishing gear becoming cut or lost. To further examine this problem we will be conducting focus groups around the country to look at this user conflict between recreational boaters and commercial fishing interests. Based on the results of the focus groups, BoatUS Foundation staff will develop educational messages to prevent the entanglement of fishing gear. These messages will be included in our free online course and provided to groups who teach in person boating safety courses.
In recent years we have been looking into ways to better manage our donor communications which we hope to invest in soon. In May of 2015 we mailed out our first Boating Safety Week appeal requesting a small donation to help support our Free Online Boating Safety Course. Although our course is free, it isn’t free to operate. As a premium, a newly re-designed Rules of the Road Decal was included so they could keep for themselves or to give a friend new to boating. Giving Tuesday is also growing in popularity and the Foundation has had good success in asking boaters to support our charitable cause on this national day of giving.
|Learn to Sail Course||$9,670|
|Free Online Boating Safety Course||$200,207|
|Conferences & Seminars||$118,394|
|Life Jacket Loaner||$76,390|
|General Education & Research||$195,823|
|Online Course Development & Support||$26,688|
|U.S. Power Squadron||$109,120|
|Clean Boating Courses||$24,716|
|Clean Fueling Program||$15,264|
|Other Income (Royalties and Program Income)||$224,038|
|Unrealized Gain on Investments||$19,196|
|Management & General||$114,282|
|Change in Net Assets||$151,522|
|Net Assets at Beginning of Year||$1,499,110|
|Net Assets at End of Year||$1,650,632|
*Expenses related to refurbishing donated vessels
COO of Boat America Corporation
Past Technical Director, BoatU.S.
Past Editor of Cruising World Magazine
Past President of BoatU.S.
Chair, Audit & Finance Commitee
VP, T. Rowe Price Associates Chair
Retired VP, RIS Paper Co.
Vice Chair, Audit & Finance Commitee
CEO, Putnam-Ross Consulting
Past President, BoatU.S. Foundation
President, BoatU.S. Foundation
Vice President & Secretary, BoatU.S. Foundation
Treasurer, BoatU.S. Foundation
880 South Picket Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22304
147 Old Solomon's Island Rd, Ste. 513
Annapolis, MD 21401
Your donations help us stay afloat.