TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Commissioners approved staff development of an R3 Fishing Grant program at their meeting on May 1 near Tallahassee.
The FWC is striving to increase participation in freshwater and saltwater fishing through an effort known as R3 (Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation). Recruitment of new anglers, retention of active anglers and reactivation of lapsed anglers are important to the future of conservation funding. R3 programs are focused on increasing and diversifying the fishing participation rate of different age groups and backgrounds over the next 10-15 years. This rule amendment allows the FWC to offer grants to partners helping achieve participation goals, assisting with fisheries research and evaluating the effectiveness of R3 programs.
Funding derived from fishing and boating activities supports management programs tasked with ensuring Florida continues to meet the needs of stakeholders with a vested interest in Florida’s aquatic resources. Much of Florida’s growth is in urban areas where people are less likely to have exposure to nature-based activities. Studies have shown there is a strong interest in fishing from adults and youth who have never fished, but there are barriers and uncertainty about where to begin. Research also indicates the key motivating factors for fishing are for consumption, appreciation of the outdoors and spending time with family and friends.
The intent of this grant program is to allow stakeholders the ability to partner with the FWC on facilitating R3 programs, expanding R3 reach and increasing the participation rate of under-represented fishing groups in the angling community. The FWC is committed to working with partners to find solutions that will overcome these barriers so future generations have the knowledge and skills to become safe, successful anglers with an appreciation for Florida’s natural resources.
To view the R3 Fishing Action Plan, visit MyFWC.com and click on the “Florida’s R3 Fishing Action Plan” link in the center of the page. To view the R3 Fishing Grant Program Guideline Draft or for more information, contact Conor Hughes at [email protected] or 850-617-6012.