Press Releases

‘Explore the Blue’ Essay Contest Winners Announced
Grand Prize Winner Awarded Trip to Yellowstone from Take Me Fishing™ and Discovery Education

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 30, 2011) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing campaign and Discovery Education have announced five first prize recipients and one grand prize winner of their recent ‘Explore the Blue’ essay contest. 

In September 2010, Take Me Fishing and Discovery Education set out to educate students about the importance of outdoor recreational activities, such as boating and fishing, and the value of clean and healthy natural resources through a new web site called In support of this goal, the groups launched an essay contest, sponsored by The Sports Authority, and asked young people to describe their favorite boating or fishing memory in words.

Barnsdall, OK fifth grader James C.’s essay “Our Special Pond” was chosen from hundreds of entries as the grand prize winner. At the end of his essay, James imparted a key lesson learned: “I want to take care of my ponds, lakes, and rivers, so one day when I grow up I can enjoy fishing with my kids.” As the grand prize winner, he and his family have been awarded a trip to Yellowstone National Park including airfare, lodging, $650 in spending money for fun on-the-water activities and a $250 Sports Authority gift card. Fifth graders Colton W. and Tommy L., third grader Lillian K., second grader Jackson W. and first grader Aidan H. were each awarded first place prizes of $100 Sports Authority gift cards.

“We are thrilled to be able to reward these inspired youth for their passion and talent,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “The enthusiasm we saw amongst these essay submissions was extremely uplifting. We hope to continue to instill the emotional and social values that boating and fishing bring to the younger generations and we’re happy to see that the appreciation is apparent.”

The contest began on September 16, 2010 and entries were accepted through January 31, 2011. Students enrolled in kindergarten through 5th grade were eligible to enter by composing a short essay of 350 words or less describing an outdoor fishing or boating experience and touching upon the importance of protecting and conserving our nation’s waterways.

"We were extremely impressed with the quality of the entries,” said Discovery Education Vice President of Education Partnerships Mary Rollins. “It’s apparent that these children are very excited about the great outdoors and their parents and schools are doing an excellent job at conveying the importance of conservation. We hope this contest only enhanced their interest in boating, fishing and protecting their environment.”

Though the contest is complete, those interested in learning more can still visit or to search thousands of places to boat and fish, find local services, activities and events, or learn more about the aquatic plants and animals in your area.  If the weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor activities, parents and children can also take a virtual underwater field trip, keep an online boating journal and play a variety of exciting games.  For more information on Explore the Blue and other conservation or outdoor activity tips and tricks, visit Take Me Fishing’s Facebook page or follow us on twitter @Take_Me_Fishing.

About RBFF
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. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers’ Legacy™.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education.  Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at

About Sports Authority
The Sports Authority, Inc. ("Sports Authority") is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado. It operates over 462 stores in 45 U.S. states under Sports Authority. The Company's website, located at is currently operated by GSI Commerce, Inc. Sports Authority has a rich history, dating back almost a century, of being an industry leader in providing a wide assortment of quality, brand-name sporting goods.