Q: Why was the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) created?

A: RBFF was formed to carry out a national strategic plan to increase participation in fishing and boating, thereby increasing stewardship for the aquatic resources that support these activities.

In recent years, a shared concern has emerged in the fishing, boating and conservation communities. Participation in recreational fishing and boating is changing, and in some cases declining. Projections of demographic trends indicate that in the next 25 years, significant population growth will be occurring only among groups who have not traditionally been as involved with boating and fishing. This indicates obvious economic impacts in both private and public sectors, with additional considerations in the areas of resource stewardship and quality of life issues.

For example, in 1996, an average of 83% of state fishery agency budgets were derived from a combination of license sales and federal aid to sportfish restoration, both of which are directly linked to participation. With a decline in participation in fishing and boating, who will step forward to maintain the front line in the conservation and stewardship of aquatic resources? And what will this mean for the heritage and traditions of American fishing and boating so fundamental to our national psyche, not to mention the powerful impact that participation in these activities have had on American families?

The challenge is to maintain and even increase participation among those groups where fishing and boating have always played an important role in their cultural heritage, while diversifying to include a wider representation--building new traditions for all in the 21st century.

The Strategic Plan for the National Outreach and Communication Program was developed to effectively address these participation challenges and to assure the passing on of the rich legacy and traditions associated with American recreational fishing and boating. In so doing, the stewardship of aquatic resources will be assured and the associated recreational benefits guaranteed for future generations.

Q: How is RBFF funded?

RBFF’s funding is administered through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Agency”) pursuant to a cooperative agreement between the Agency and RBFF. The original source of the funds, the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, is comprised of excise taxes paid by manufacturers of fishing tackle and a consumer tax on motorboat fuel.

Q: Does RBFF accept donations?

Yes. RBFF is recognized as a section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service. As such, your donations to RBFF are tax-deductible.

Q: Is RBFF a membership organization?

RBFF has no dues paying members. We exist to increase public participation in fishing, boating and aquatic stewardship. Any business or organization with a vested interest is invited to take advantage of the resources, programs and products we offer. For a complete list of RBFF stakeholders, click here. 

Q: How can I stay in the loop?

A: The Foundation is completely dedicated to keeping RBFF partners and stakeholders "in the loop," encouraging partner and stakeholder participation, and keeping RBFF partners and stakeholders feeling invited, included, listened to and supported in efforts to achieve mutually-shared goals. NewsWavese-newsletter, Social Networking Linksand News Alerts.

Q: Why boating AND fishing?

A: According to the Special Report on Fishing and Boating, fishing is the number one gateway activity to the outdoors and boating is an integral part of the fishing experience for many Americans. Recreational boating and fishing contribute to conserving aquatic resources through excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel that fund the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program. In addition, fishing license sales and federal aid constitute an average of 83% of each state's fisheries management revenue. The retention and recruitment of boaters and anglers will ensure continued funding for aquatic conservation and restoration at both the federal and state level.

Q: Does RBFF mission include increasing awareness of all types of boating?

A: RBFF's focus is on boating as it relates to fishing, and fishing as it relates to boating. As such, boats typically not used as platforms for fishing fall outside RBFF's immediate focus.