Award submissions now open for 2011 club projects

Federation club members
B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. club members who work together to enhance the resource or recruit new members are eligible for the 2011 Berkley Conservation Institute Awards.

CELEBRATION, Fla. — On the heels of awarding its 2010 Berkley Conservation Institute Awards, Berkley is asking for B.A.S.S. Federation Nation clubs to submit their projects for the 2011 awards.

These awards recognize the best B.A.S.S. Federation Nation conservation and angler recruitment/retention projects conducted in a given year. The Institute awards a $2,000 check for the best conservation project and $1,500 in fishing gear for the best angler recruitment/retention project.

“We were pleased by the number of entries on such short notice, and we hope we can have similar tight competition for the 2011 awards,” said Noreen Clough, B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director.

To be eligible, your club must be a B.A.S.S. affiliate. E-mail your project submission to Noreen Clough at nclough@bassmaster.com by Jan. 1, 2012. Representatives from Berkley and B.A.S.S. will judge the submissions and determine winners by Feb. 1, 2012, and Jim Martin, conservation director for the Berkley Conservation Institute, will present awards for the 2011 winners at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport, La.

Judging criteria for both categories (conservation and recruitment/retention) will be similar to that used over the last several years. Submissions should be sure to address the following criteria:

Scope of project: How significant is this project? Will it affect many people and/or communities? Will it have long or short-term benefits? Will it set an example that will be picked up by others? Projects with the most reach and longevity will be judged more significant.

Partners: Was this project a partnership with other key organizations or was it done by a few B.A.S.S. club members? Winners involve local communities and businesses, state natural resource agencies, local schools/universities, other fishing clubs and conservation organizations. More partners allow projects to have more significance than those that are done in the short term with just a few people.

Creativity: Is this a new concept? Even boat ramp and streamside cleanups can be creative. Creativity gets extra credit for setting examples that can be picked up by others, particularly when publicized in B.AS.S. Times and Bassmaster.com. An entry should inspire others to pick up more challenging and creative projects of more significance.

Timing: The project will be judged based on what was done in 2011. However, some projects are multi-year projects and have significance beyond a single year. Therefore, if you submitted a project for 2010 and it has continuing merit and benefit, you may re-submit for 2011. Projects that demonstrate ongoing benefits will rank higher than short-term, one-time efforts.

The recently announced winners of the 2010 awards were the New Mexico B.A.S.S. Federation Nation for the Experimental Suspended Spawning Platform project in Elephant Butte Lake (conservation) and the Magnolia-Tomball Bass Club in southeastern Texas for its part in founding the Ignition Bass Youth Fishing League (recruitment/retention).

Other clubs that entered included the Table Rock Bassmasters in Missouri, Good Ole Boys Bass Club of New York, Southern Nevada Junior Bucketmouths, NE Mississippi Bass Club and the Talcott Mountain Bassmasters of Connecticut. State Federation Nations that submitted entries were Ohio, Connecticut, Indiana and New Hampshire. A club director from New Mexico also was an entrant.

“Berkley congratulates all the entrants on their contributions to conservation and the future of fishing through recruitment and angler retention,” said Martin, “and we are especially impressed with the scope and sophistication of the conservation projects that were submitted. It says so much about your organizations and your commitment to giving back to the resource supporting the sport.”

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