HOW RBFF GOT ITS START
The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) was officially established in 1998. Its story, on the other hand, began well before then.
It started in hearings and at meetings on Capitol Hill, where industry, conservation and public policy leaders were concerned that boaters and anglers were spending less and less time on the water. It appeared that many people were forgetting — or had never experienced — how recreational boating and fishing could enrich their lives. Too many states were experiencing participation declines. Too many people, it seemed, were spending more time indoors than they were on their boats.
And so, when Congress passed the Sport Fishing and Boating Safety Act in 1998, it required the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior to implement a national outreach and communication plan to address recreational boating and fishing participation and aquatic resource stewardship. The Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC) developed the plan and RBFF was created to carry it out — ensuring the legacies of boating, sport fishing and aquatic resource stewardship are never lost.
THE RBFF PHILOSOPHY
RBFF believes that parents don’t frame pictures of their children playing video games and couples don’t reminisce about the unforgettable evenings they spent sitting in front of the TV. That’s just not how memories are made.
Boating and fishing bring families together and boost friendships. Sunny afternoons spent on the water foster the kind of conversation and contentment that strengthen relationships. And participating helps improve appreciation of our nation’s beautiful natural resources, creating passionate conservationists who will cherish and protect our outdoor spaces.
So when federal surveys suggest that Americans are abandoning their boats and fishing gear for pursuits away from nature, RBFF works that much harder to reverse the trend. Since the beginning, RBFF has existed to help Americans discover, share and protect the legacies of recreational boating and fishing, and the love of nature it inspires.
HOW RBFF WORKS
RBFF has developed a wide variety of programs and products that make it easy for people to get involved in recreational boating and fishing. Under their national Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A PescarTM campaigns, RBFF provides the tools to help people get started. They also remind lapsed boaters and anglers — people who enjoy the sport but no longer participate — about the joy they have been missing.
TakeMeFishing.org is the key campaign destination where consumers can go and take action. Whether it’s planning a trip, exploring different types of boats, buying a fishing license or checking out places to boat and fish near home, TakeMeFishing.org is the most comprehensive boating and fishing website available nationwide.
Vamos A Pescar was launched in 2014 in an effort to reach the quickly-growing U.S. Hispanic audience. Its campaign microsite, VamosAPescar.org, features fishing and boating how-to and where-to information in both English and Spanish and includes resources for obtaining a fishing license and/or boat registration.
In 2016, RBFF announced a new goal to reach yearly participation of 60 million anglers. The goal, known throughout the industry as 60 in 60, works to bring the entire fishing and boating community together to improve angler and boater recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) practices. Reaching the 60 in 60 goal would have a tremendous positive impact on the industry with more than a $500 million increase in fishing license revenue1, a $35 billion annual increase in economic contributions from anglers2 and a $10 billion annual increase in economic contributions from boaters3.
THE DIFFERENCE RBFF MAKES
Recreational boating and fishing are multibillion dollar industries. They contribute significantly to the U.S. economy, supporting millions of jobs and adding billions of dollars to state tax revenues. More important, they are American traditions that promote family values and instill a desire to help protect the country’s waterways. By collaborating with key partners — conservation communities, state and federal agencies, recreation and tourism groups and other education and advocacy organizations — RBFF works to increase the number of people involved in these fulfilling recreational activities. This, in turn, helps ensure the state and federal funding needed for conservation.
Sources: 1. Based on U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) certified data; 2. Based on figures from ASA Sportfishing in America Report; 3. Based on figures from NMMA 2014 Statistical Abstract and NMMA 2012 Recreational Boating Economic Study