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Northwest’s Grow Boating Grants; the first “Boat Maryland Week”

The Northwest Marine Trades Association sets a high bar for other organizations with its program of awarding Grow Boating Grants to deserving programs in the Pacific Northwest.

This year’s grants total $27,083 in funding and loan opportunities to support 21 boating programs. Now in its 17 year, NMTA’s grant program has provided more than $2 million in funds to non-profit groups or organizations that help grow the number of watercraft users or encourage existing boaters to use their boats more often.

Basically, every exhibitor in NMTA’s Seattle Boat Show supports the program through a surcharge on their exhibit spaces. This year, 33 applicants submitted funding requests totaling a whopping $169,337. NMTA’s Grow Boating Committee determines which programs, events and promotions should be assisted to encourage boating in the Northwest. The committee also oversees management of all allocations.

The recipients selected for 2019 are diverse. They target power and sail boats, and smaller watercraft like kayaks, canoes, paddle- and sailboards. Other initiatives include: a learn-to-sail guide; equipment and gear; marketing funding; and educational youth events.

Here’s a sampling:

•Anacortes Waterfront Alliance - $1,000 for youth week-long sailing programs and loan for dinghies; •Bellingham Yacht Club - $500 toward youth sailing and boating instruction, scholarships and marketing; •Clam Island Rowing - $400 to cover Boater Education Card fees, instruction and marketing; •Gig Harbor Boat Shop - $900 for supplies and fund free summer boat rental days; •Lopez Island Family Resource - $1,500 for scholarships to a small rural community with little access to youth sailboat programs.•Metro Park Tacoma, Point Defiance Park - $2,000 offset boat rental rates and educational instruction for Free Fishing Weekend; •Multihull Youth Sail Foundation “My Sail” - $2,000 to help youth programs start up and loan offer to purchase a Hobie 16.

To see the full list of recipients, check out this NMTA statement.


Another marine trades organization is taking the lead in promoting boating with the first-ever “Boat Maryland Week,” slated for April 26 to May 5.

This time it’s the Marine Trades Association of Maryland, being joined in staging the event by Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, The Annapolis Boat Shows, Visit Maryland and the Symmetry Agency.

Boat Maryland Week is intended to mark the start to the boating season. The event will center on activities that get the public on the water, explore maritime heritage and experience maritime art.

“There’s genuine excitement for this brand-new event,” says Susan Zellers, executive director of MTAM. “It’s a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the deeply rooted maritime heritage of our state, the health and abundance of the Chesapeake Bay and its waterways, and, of course, our love of all things boating.”

Boating is big in Maryland. More than three percent of the state’s population own a recreational boat. The annual statewide economic impact is estimated to be $2.4 billion. The event will actually run for 10 days and boast a variety of activities. Among them: the annual Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, April 26 to 28, at City Dock; the popular Annapolis Regattas, May 3 to 5, a racing series founded by the editors of Sailing World in 1988; and a maritime-themed take on one of the city’s art festival series, the First Sunday Arts Festival, May 5.

For more information, go to


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