West Marine has announced the recipients of its annual Marine Conservation Grants, awarded to organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada that are working to “improve and protect marine habitat”. In New England, grants were awarded to the following groups and projects:

  1. Gloucester, Massachusetts – Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries will use the grant to educate the public, captains and crews of charter boats about barotrauma. Barotrauma occurs when bottom fish suffer from the sudden pressure change when they are brought to the surface. These fish often have bulging eyeballs and swim-bladders protruding from their mouths. When released due to size, the fish are unable to swim and die. However, with one of numerous barotrauma devices, the fish can be lowered to the appropriate depth, their bodies recompress and they can swim away. Funds will be used to measure the effectiveness of commercially available recompression release devices that return fish to a depth where they may “recompress.”
  2. Kingston, Massachusetts – The Jones River Watershed Association was established to protect, enhance, and restore the natural resources of the watershed and its extended ecosystem. The grant will be used to outfit their new boat “Blue Future” which will improve their ability to collect data on species in the bays and estuary. Learn more by CLICKING HERE.

Marine Conservation Grants are awarded through a formal application process in which interested organizations must submit their proposal directly to West Marine. All applications are reviewed by the Marine Conservation Action Team.

Since 1994, West Marine has donated nearly $5,000,000 to organizations that support youth boating, boating safety and the marine environment. For more information about the Marine Conservation Grants program, CLICK HERE.



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