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West Marine seeks applications for conservation grants

West Marine is launching its annual Marine Conservation Grants program, which awards money to groups that offer conservation projects beneficial to recreational fishing and sustainable commercial fishing while preserving marine resources.

Five to 10 grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000 per recipient. Applications are available online; the closing date for entries is May 1.

"West Marine is pleased to encourage the efforts of anglers and conservation groups, who are both working toward plentiful fish stocks for everyone," said Randy Repass, chairman of the board and founder of West Marine, in a statement.  "We support a 'resource first' approach so that future generations will be able to enjoy fishing as we have."

All grant applications will be reviewed by the Marine Conservation Action Team. Those applying must show sound financial policies and management, with a key focus on marine conservation, habitat restoration and sustainable fisheries. The activities can cover ocean science and conservation projects that relate to key marine species, water quality, sustainable ocean use, etc.

West Marine has donated more than $4.6 million to non-profit organizations that support youth boating, boating safety and the marine environment.

Click here for official rules and application information.

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