Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that kids spend an astounding 44 hours a week with TV, computers and video games. Perhaps that’s why Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods,” says that kids today suffer from “nature-deficit disorder.” The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) suggests that parents seeking a cure should try family fishing.
National Fishing & Boating Week (NFBW), June 4-12, was created to get families moving in the right direction. From California to Florida,and in most states in between, more than 700 on-water events are planned, including fishing derbies, regattas and festivals. The aim is to help kids connect to nature and build a foundation to stay connected into adulthood.
To make it easy to find scheduled events, times and locations all across the U.S.,the nonprofit Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation has posted a comprehensive listing on its public-service website, takemefishing.org. Events can be searched by state, town and zip code to identify family-oriented fishing and boating activities close to home.
At a time when many parents are concerned that their kids spend far too much time indoors, fishing is a good way to motivate them to get off the couch. “I’ve interviewed many parents across the country who want to get their kids outside, but they don’t necessarily know where to go or how to do it,” said author Louv. “Because it’s so easy to do and so widely accessible, fishing is a great solution for many parents.”
"Fishing differs from many other forms of outdoor recreation because it not only gives kids a lasting way to connect to nature, it improves family communication in ways few activities can,” says Bruce Matthews, president of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation. "National Fishing & Boating Week gets things headed in the right direction by getting kids interested in fishing and boating early."
Dean Cain Serves as 2005 NFBW Honorary Chairperson
To help spread the word that fishing is a great pastime for families, actor Dean Cain has agreed to be the 2005 honorary chairperson of National Fishing & Boating Week. Best known for his role as Superman/Clark Kent in “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” Cain is an avid angler who enjoys fishing with his four-year-old son. Cain will be in New York City on June 2 and 3 doing media interviews to promote NFBW and to discuss how fishing benefits kids.
Free-Fishing Days Mean There’s No Excuse Not to Go Fishing
To provide families an opportunity to try recreational fishing without the commitment of purchasing a fishing license, most states now sponsor free-fishing days when no license is required. Many states have scheduled these days during NFBW, providing an additional incentive for people to get out on the water. A complete state-by-state listing of free-fishing days can be found at takemefishing.org. Since 1991, fishing participation rates have been in a slow decline. In response to this trend, organizations like RBFF have launched a variety of efforts and events such as NFBW aimed at stemming the tide and ensuring a strong future for one of America’s favorite recreational activities. NFBW is also part of Great Outdoors Month, designated by presidential decree as the month of June. During Great Outdoors Month, state and federal agencies, conservation groups, service providers and related businesses are holding family events in communities across the country. According to RBFF, more than 50 million Americans participate in fishing and boating every year; that’s more than play golf and tennis combined. Additionally, 83 percent of state funding for managing and conserving aquatic resources comes from the sale of fishing licenses, and from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel. These funds ensure that fishery resources are well-managed, accessible and conserved for future generations to enjoy.
About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
The RBFF (www.rbff.org) is a government-funded, nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby increasing public awareness and appreciation of the need for protecting, conserving and restoring America’s aquatic natural resources. Recreational boating and fishing are America's favorite sporting activities, with more than 50 million people participating every year – that’s more than play golf and tennis combined.