Once again, in 2011 the Berkley Conservation Institute will be bestowing their Outstanding Conservation awards for the best B.A.S.S. Federation Nation conservation and angler recruitment and retention projects conducted in 2010. The Institute awards a $2,000 check for the best conservation project and $1,500 in fishing gear to the best angler recruitment/retention project.
Project submissions are being solicited by B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Noreen Clough and will be judged by a team from Berkley and B.A.S.S. Project submissions should be submitted electronically to Clough by no later than August 1, 2011. Awards will be made by Berkley Conservation Director Jim Martin at the 2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship presented by Yamaha and Skeeter boats, tentatively scheduled for the first week of November this year.
"This program represents our partnership to celebrate those who work each year to give back to the resource that supports our wonderful sport and to those who work to recruit the next generation of passionate anglers," said Martin. "Many do not realize that Berkley is more than just line and bait and that B.A.S.S. is so much more than just fishing tournaments. We want to thank you, to celebrate your project, to contribute support to your organization and to inspire others to follow your lead."
"B.A.S.S. is extremely proud of our partnership with Berkley Conservation Institute and especially of the relationship that recognizes the outstanding conservation and angler recruitment opportunities provided by the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation volunteers — a dedicated group of folks committed to the future of fishing," Clough said.
Winners from recent years have used this money to build their next great project. Some winners have been from individual chapters while others have been combined projects by a whole state. Judging criteria will be similar to that used over the last several years. Submissions should include the size/scope of the project (how significant... local or more broad?), the level of partnerships (was the DNR and other community organizations involved?), creativity (is this something new that could be duplicated elsewhere?), and timing/duration (is the impact short or longer term?).
"Receiving the Berkley Conservation Award in 2010 was significant for the Indiana B.A.S.S. Federation Nation (BFN) and our state's conservation efforts," said Jill Snyder, Indiana BFN Conservation Director. "Our conservation focus is youth angler education, including teaching the catch-and-release philosophy, and improving our relationship with the Indiana DNR to ensure availability of fishing venues in the state for our members. The Berkley Award enabled us to secure a large amount of youth fishing equipment that we gave away at the Indiana DNR's 2nd annual Hoosier Outdoor Experience. There were over 18,000 visitors at the 2010 Hoosier Outdoor Experience, and over 800 visitors to the bank fishing experience, in which the Indiana BFN provided the fishing volunteers for a day. The equipment giveaway was a huge hit with the kids and enabled many of them to leave the event with the knowledge, and the tools, to continue fishing! The balance of the award was used to help the Junior Indiana BFN program throughout the year."
Questions regarding the Berkley Conservation awards program should be directed to B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Noreen Clough at firstname.lastname@example.org.