West Marine is now accepting applications for its 2016 BlueFuture Fund grants to benefit youth organizations.
The spring grant cycle will run through May 1, with the names of grant recipients to be determined by June 1 and publicly announced no later than June 6.
Encouraged to apply are non-profit, community-based organizations that teach sailing, powerboating, fishing or boatbuilding skills; foster aquatic sustainability and conservation practices; and encourage learning in the marine sciences.
The $1,500 grants are given without restriction; grant recipients are free to use the funds as they see fit.
“No one understands the needs of a community better than those who live and work there,” West Marine communications director Lindsey Johnson said in a statement. “We consider our grant recipients to be our partners. By listening to what they have to say and supporting their ongoing efforts to foster waterlife adventure, education and recreation among young people, we know that we can make a real difference in the lives of America’s youth.”
West Marine created its non-profit BlueFuture Fund in June 2015 to provide this critical grant funding to charities across North America.
“We’ve always been a company for people who love the water, by people who love the water,” Johnson said. “We want to make sure young people have the same opportunities we’ve had — opportunities that can have such a transformative and lasting effect.”
West Marine will conduct three annual in-store fundraisers in 2016 to support the growth of its BlueFuture Fund. One fundraising event will be held in conjunction with National Safe Boating Week in May, the second commemorates World Oceans Day in June, and the third is its “Month of Giving” in December.