West Marine seeks applications for fall BlueFuture grants

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West Marine said it will begin accepting online applications on Sept. 1 for its next round of 2017 BlueFuture grants.

The retailer said the fall grant cycle will run through Oct. 1. Grant recipients will be announced in November.

Encouraged to apply are nonprofit youth-focused community-based organizations that teach sailing, powerboating, fishing, paddling or boatbuilding skills; foster aquatic sustainability and conservation practices; and encourage learning in the marine sciences.

The company said the $1,500 grants are given without restriction; recipients are free to use the funds as they see fit.

“We’re dedicated to giving back to communities across the country through our BlueFuture initiative,” Deb Radcliff, senior vice president, marketing, said in a statement. “We understand that not all young people have the opportunity to build their own Waterlife, so it’s important to us that we’re able to help local nonprofits give more young people access to the water.”

West Marine said it created its nonprofit BlueFuture fund in May 2015 to provide funding to charities across North America. The company conducts three annual in-store fundraisers to support BlueFuture’s growth: National Safe Boating Week in May; World Oceans Day in June; and the Month of Giving in December.

The company also encourages year-round donations through its website.