RBFF Highlights Efforts to Minimize ‘Nature Gap’

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is celebrating this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month by showcasing its support to minimize the so-called “nature gap” by bringing multicultural families into fishing and boating through its George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund.

Since the education fund was launched in 2014, more than $1 million has been granted to local organizations across the U.S., improving access to fishing, boating, and conservation education. More than $109,500 in grants was awarded in 2023, with state fish and wildlife agencies fully matching the amount, bringing the total funding to approximately $221,000 to support 16 programs in eight states.

“Fishing participation among Latino communities in the U.S. achieved record levels with 5.1 million participants. Still, only 18 percent are first-timers,” said Stephanie Hussey, senior director of government engagement at RBFF. “The George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund has been instrumental in bringing Latino communities closer to fishing and boating through conservation education and access to on-the-water opportunities, therefore minimizing the ‘nature gap’ — a reality seen in so many outdoor activities.”

This year’s 2023 George H. W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund grantees nationwide include:

  • California: Cast Hope, Friends of Fish, Outdoor Outreach, Reel Guppy Outdoors, and Solidarity
  • Colorado: Colorado Wildlife Federation
  • Florida: Fishing’s Future – Reel Blessed Chapter, Manatee County Natural Resources Department, Miami-Dade Parks Recreation and Open Spaces – EcoAdventures, Pasco County Parks Recreation and Natural Resources, and Tampa Bay Kayak Anglers
  • Oklahoma: Scissortail Park Foundation
  • Rhode Island: Partnership for Providence Parks
  • South Dakota: Augustana University
  • Texas: Fishing’s Future
  • Virginia: Harrisonburg City Public Schools

For more information on the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund and the 2023 grantees, visit RBFF’s website.