ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 1, 2011) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), with assistance from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, is participating in its Lapsed Boat Registration Pilot Program aimed at increasing boat registration renewals among lapsed boaters. Florida joins Oregon and Ohio as the third state to implement the direct mail pilot effort developed by RBFF in partnership with the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW).
“We’re pleased to be working with Florida, the ‘Fishing Capital of the World,’ to help get lapsed boaters back out on the water,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “We want boat owners to know that they can contribute to fish and wildlife and boating infrastructure programs that help preserve their waterways by simply registering their boat.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to promote boating, remind vessel owners to renew their registration, and get back on the water to enjoy the world-class boating and fishing Florida offers,” said Captain Tom Shipp of the Florida FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement.
RBFF’s Lapsed Boat Registration Pilot Program kicked off in April 2009 when the owners of lapsed boat registrations in Oregon, who had not renewed their registrations since 2007, were sent direct mail pieces reminding them about the importance of renewing their registration. These Oregon boat owners received one of three different remittance forms, which targeted both angler and non-angler households. A separate group of lapsed boat registrations was set aside as a control group for comparison, and their owners received no remittance forms.
The 2009 Oregon pilot program was successful in generating more than $20,000 in new revenue to the agency. The registration renewals also generated an estimated $25,000 in additional revenue to the state of Oregon through state gasoline taxes and allocations from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. Results from the 2009 program encouraged Oregon and RBFF to plan a second program in 2010, in which the state achieved a successful 17.7 percent re-registration rate.
Florida is reaching out to their lapsed boaters with a similar program this summer.
RBFF is working to expand the Lapsed Boat Registration Pilot Program and enhance its efforts to increase boat registration renewals nationally. The pilot program is an extension of RBFF’s State Fishing License Marketing Program with more than 30 state fish and wildlife agencies.
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™.