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BoatUS awards grants through online voting

Using an online voting process that for the first time allowed the public to choose the recipients, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water awarded 10 community grants of as much as $4,000 in its 2011 Grassroots Grants program.

In the last 23 years, the foundation has awarded more than $1 million to organizations that have developed creative projects to promote safe and clean boating on their local waterways. This year's winners — from Hawaii to New York — are no different.

More than 21,000 votes were cast. The top vote getter was Coast Guard Auxiliary 8CR-1-19, of Panama City Beach, Fla., with more than 4,200 votes, to produce The Water Safety Discussion & Activity Booklet for Parents and Kids.

“By giving the public a vote we engage the local community with these projects, and it gives boaters a say in what's important to them,” BoatUS Foundation program manager Alanna Keating said in a statement. "Grant applicants have also told us they really appreciated the voting format because it gave them a chance to rally supporters and earn some recognition from their community. It's a real win-win for all.”

Click here for the full list of winners.

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