MIAMI: Interlux unveils waterfront grant initiative

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MIAMI - Interlux on Thursday announced Waterfront Challenge 2011, a grant program that encourages groups to create sustainable waterfront environmental improvements in their communities.

The program was announced at the Miami International Boat Show.

"We are excited about launching the Waterfront Challenge 2011," marketing manager Eleanor Ekman said. "The health of our bays, streams, lakes and oceans is vital to the future of boating."

Eight grants ranging from $4,500 to $20,000 will be awarded. The program begins March 1 and runs through Aug. 31.

The contest is open to any group of three or more people who want to spend a minimum of one weekend on their project. Entrants can include youth groups, yacht clubs, families, scout troops or other organizations.

Projects must make some part of the applicants' local waterfront "an environmentally better place," and it must be a new project, not one that has been ongoing. Entrants must show results from their efforts.

A five-judge panel, along with the boating public who can vote via Facebook, will select seven regional winners to receive the $4,500 grants. A grand prize winner will receive $20,000 and will be announced in October at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The judges are Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association; Fred Daoust, general manager of Interlux and Awlgrip Yacht Coatings North America; Dan Pingaro, CEO of Sailors for the Sea; Susan Shingledecker, director of environmental programs of Boat U.S. Foundation's Boating Safety & Clean Water; and John Kelly, technical director of marine coatings at International Paint.

Beginning next month, applications will be accepted via the program's website.