The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced the 2016 grantees of its State Innovative R3 Program Grants. A total of more than $118,000 has been granted to five state agencies to help fund programs that focus on increasing fishing license sales and boat registrations in ways that can be replicated throughout the country utilizing methods for recruiting, retaining and reactivating (R3) anglers and boaters.

Grants Overview
A new mobile fishing application will be developed by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) that will help anglers find fishing access points, identify fish, record their catches in a fishing journal and more. This app will be used as a tool to engage anglers and assist them in having more successful and memorable fishing experiences. CPW will be able to communicate with the fishing community through the app and will also be able to track user downloads and data to compare it to license sales history.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will work to increase high school participation in fishing teams and clubs across Florida with a particular focus on counties with high Hispanic compositions. Working with the FLW Foundation and Student Angler Federation, FWC will focus on the Hispanic community in establishing new and growing existing high school angling teams. At the same time, they will provide students and families with important conservation and boating safety education.

The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division is increasing their R3 efforts by enhancing their online Georgia Outdoor Map with additional information and features to increase public participation, and help retain existing participants, in recreational angling and boating. The map is a web-based application that identifies outdoor recreational opportunities on DNR-managed properties including state parks, wildlife management areas, public fishing areas, boat ramps and historic sites. The enhanced map will include a link to the mobile-friendly license and registration purchasing website, and targeted messages will encourage license purchase or upgrade.

Emerging digital strategies will be explored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who will also develop a partnership with the Iowa Tourism Office to promote fishing as a ‘leisure activity of choice’ for Iowa families. Utilizing the branding and imagery of the Travel Iowa campaign, the program will focus on a joint website with a landing page featuring Iowa-specific information on how to take a family fishing trip, where to go, and most importantly a “buy your license” button which will track visitors through license purchase.

Angler recruitment events will be taken to the next level by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) by working to sell on-site permits to Family Fishing event participants, and collect data that allows the tracking of, and marketing to, program participants. When data is collected at an event, NGPC will be able to introduce participants to the mobile permit system, validate contact information, track recruitment and retention of participants through permit sales and program attendance, and continue communication with participants after the event. With this project, NGPC’s goal is to increase license sales at events and accurately be able to evaluate and refine their recruitment efforts.

Now in its second year, the 2016 State Innovative R3 Program Grants were selected from 27 proposal submissions, which were reviewed by RBFF staff and a Proposal Review Working Group made up of industry board members, Federal agency and NGO representatives.

“We’re excited to see the results of these pioneering initiatives,” said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. “The impact of these programs on fishing and boating participation, and ultimately the funding they will help provide for conservation efforts, will have a lasting effect on our industry and we hope that these programs will be replicated by other agencies across the country.”

More information on RBFF’s R3 programs can be found online.