The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that 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.
RBFF MISSION AND VISION
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources.
MISSION: To implement an informed, consensus-based national outreach strategy that will increase participation in recreational angling and boating and thereby increase public awareness and appreciation of the need to protect, conserve and restore this nation's aquatic natural resources.
VISION: RBFF firmly believes that ‘The Water is Open to Everyone’ and is committed to spreading the joy of fishing and boating to all ages, genders and cultures. We envision one nation united in our passion for fishing and boating. A nation committed to the pursuit of leisure activity on the water. A nation that embraces our fishing and boating heritage, and conserves, restores and protects the resources that sustain it.
To support its mission and vision, RBFF has developed a wide variety of programs and products that make it easy for people in the U.S. to get involved in recreational boating and fishing. Under their national Take Me Fishing™ campaign, 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.
The award-winning Take Me Fishing™ campaign creating awareness about boating, fishing and conservation, and educating people about the benefits of participation. The campaign help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign website, TakeMeFishing.org feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.
The Vamos A Pescar™ campaign was launched in 2014 to reach the quickly-growing U.S. Hispanic audience. The campaign has evolved and now is part of the Take Me Fishing™ umbrella and its website TakeMeFishing.org promoting content in Spanish and in English dedicated to the bilingual multicultural U.S. Hispanic community.
In 2016, RBFF announced a new goal to reach participation of 60 million anglers in 60 months. 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.
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
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.