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NMTA Steps up To Boost Boating

The Northwest Marine Trade Association is again stepping up to advance boating in its region by announcing a new round of its industry-leading Grow Boating grant program.

Believed to be the first regional marine trade association to do so, in 2003, NMTA created the grant program with a single mission: to increase the number of boaters and encourage current boaters to boat more often. To do it, grants are awarded to both non-profit and for-profit entities engaged in producing events and programs that directly promote boating in the Pacific Northwest.

Since the first grants were awarded 19 years ago, NMTA has allocated more than $2 million to promote boating through a variety of events, sponsorships and platforms.

“Overall, NMTA funds all types of boating activities and promotions year-round,” says NMTA president George Harris. “These specific Grow Boating grants are funded by a portion of space rental fees collected at our Seattle Boat Show. I often say this is the most important work NMTA does, to create and develop the boaters of tomorrow.”

In the past eight years alone, 56 boating organizations have received grant funding from this program. In addition, NMTA annually sponsors many other local boating events.

Grow Boating grant awards must fall into one three categories:

1. Youth Boating Grant Awarded to a group or organization seeking support for an event or program aimed specifically at getting or increasing youth participation in boating activities.

2. Discover Boating Grant Awarded to a group or organization seeking funding support for an event or program aimed specifically at introducing new people to boating.

3. Boater Education/Safety Grant Awarded to a group or organization seeking funding support for an event or program aimed specifically at boater education.

“We know that many groups and programs were hard hit by Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, so we’re very pleased to be able to offer these grants to help our valuable community-based organizations continue their amazing programs,” said Karsten McIntosh, NMTA director of communications.

For NMTA, the Grow Boating grants combine with many other promotional programs that have proven to be winners:

• backing fishing events and opportunities for more than 70,000 participants in derbies as part of the Northwest Fishing Derby Series

• providing introductory boat rides to thousands during free events held in the greater Puget Sound region

• annually generating hundreds of positive boating and fishing segments for regional television and radio

• producing materials for print and online publications across the Pacific Northwest

In announcing the kick-off of this round of Grow Boating grants, Harris shared a personal reflection: “I am enormously proud that since we started this program, every NMTA board of trustees has been unwavering in their commitment to the future of the industry and funding Grow Boating, even through the tough times like the great recession of ’08 and, more recently, Covid.”

This time around, NMTA plans to award 10 grants of $1,000. The application process closes Oct. 31, and recipients will be announced in December, with funds distributed in the spring of 2023.

Click here for more information about the grant program, or contact Karsten McIntosh at (206) 634-0911.

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