FWC News Release
Media contact: Tammy Sapp, 850-228-1353

Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces - Miami EcoAdventures, a partner of the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, received one of the first-ever George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund grants to provide fishing and boating experiences for Hispanic families. The announcement was made by President George H.W. Bush, Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris, and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation during an April 14 ceremony at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. The Education Fund awarded a total of $50,000 in grant monies to the FYCCN, a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund was founded by RBFF in 2014 with an initial $125,000 donation by Morris, in honor of President George H.W. Bush’s milestone 90th birthday. The mission of the Education Fund is to bring hands-on fishing and boating experiences, along with conservation and education activities, to Hispanic families across the United States.

“I am hard-pressed to think of an outdoor activity that teaches more about the beauty of nature and the joy of family and friends than does fishing,” said President Bush. “And so I am very pleased to salute my dear friend Johnny Morris and all involved in running this wonderful program for their selfless and inclusive commitment to sharing the wonders of fishing with an ever-broadening audience of American families."

The grant will allow FYCCN partners at Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces – Miami EcoAdventures to expand fishing and boating opportunities and conservation education to children and families in Miami-Dade County. Included in the grant program are:
  • A 2016 Vamos A Pescar fishing event at Tropical Park in Miami that introduces families to fishing, boating and environmental education programs, and improves upon 2015 efforts.
  • The continuation of fishing and boating safety camps held at various locations throughout the county.
  • A series of workshops throughout the county where kids and families can spend time together learning how to fish from trained instructors while acquiring a respect for the outdoors.

“We are committed to helping Florida’s families and youth fully enjoy healthy outdoor activities such as fishing and boating. By working with our great FYCCN partners such as Miami-Dade County, together we can successfully create the next generation that cares about fish and wildlife conservation,” said Nick Wiley, executive director of the FWC. “Florida’s Hispanic communities are among the largest in the nation, and we sincerely appreciate the support and leadership from President Bush, Bass Pro Shops, and RBFF for establishing this program to help connect our young people with the excitement of fishing and conservation in such a meaningful way.”

For information on how to contribute to the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund, contact RBFF Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships Rachel Auslander at rauslander@rbff.org.

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About the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network

The mission of FYCCN, a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is to uphold Florida’s outdoor legacy by empowering youth and educators with outdoor know-how and conservation concepts. The FYCCN supports its over 300 partners’ efforts to introduce youth and families to fishing, boating, the shooting sports and wildlife discovery by providing equipment, educator training, curricula and more. For more information, visit http://www.fyccn.org/.

About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation

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 developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites, www.TakeMeFishing.org, and www.VamosAPescar.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.

About the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund

The George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund was created by RBFF with an initial donation of $125,000 from Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris to bring conservation, education and fishing and boating experiences to Hispanic families in key metro areas of Texas and Florida. With the help of similar donations from other individuals, companies and associations, the fund will help educate and engage Hispanic and multicultural audiences throughout the United States in boating and fishing with the support of RBFF’s Vamos A Pescar Hispanic outreach initiative.