RBFF >  Newsroom >  Press Releases >  

RBFF Highlights efforts to minimize the Nature Gap

RBFF Highlights efforts to minimize the “Nature Gap"

2023 Grantees Receive Over $100,000 to Bring Fishing and Boating to Multicultural Families

ALEXANDRIA, VA (September 26, 2023) - The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is celebrating this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month by showcasing its support to minimize the “Nature Gap” by bringing multicultural families into fishing and boating through its George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund.


Since the Education Fund was launched in 2014, more than $1 million has been granted to local organizations across the U.S., improving access to fishing, boating, and conservation education. Over $109,500 in grants were awarded in 2023, with state fish and wildlife agencies fully matching the amount, bringing the total funding to approximately $221,000 to support sixteen programs in eight states.


Just this summer, the Vista Outdoor Foundation (the philanthropic partner of Vista Outdoor Inc.) and Simms Fishing Products (Vista’s Bozeman, Montana-based fishing brand) announced a donation of $17,000 to RBFF. The donation benefitted RBFF’s George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund and thanks to a 1:1 match from state fish and wildlife agencies, the donation from the Vista Outdoor Foundation was doubled. More recently, Brunswick Corporation just announced a donation to support the Education Fund grantees in 2024.


“Fishing participation among LatinX communities in the U.S. achieved record levels with 5.1 million participants. Still, only 18% are first-timers,” said Stephanie Hussey, Senior Director for Government Engagement at RBFF. “The George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund has been instrumental in bringing LatinX communities closer to fishing and boating through conservation education and access, therefore minimizing the “Nature Gap” - a reality seen in so many outdoor activities.”


This year’s 2023 George H. W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ grantees nationwide include:


  • California: Cast Hope, Friends of Fish, Outdoor Outreach, Reel Guppy Outdoors, and Solidarity
  • Colorado: Colorado Wildlife Federation  
  • Florida: Fishing's Future - Reel Blessed Chapter, Manatee County Natural Resources Department, Miami-Dade Parks Recreation and Open Spaces - EcoAdventures, Pasco County Parks Recreation and Natural Resources, and Tampa Bay Kayak Anglers 
  • Oklahoma: Scissortail Park Foundation 
  • Rhode Island: Partnership for Providence Parks 
  • South Dakota: Augustana University 
  • Texas: Fishing's Future 
  • Virginia: Harrisonburg City Public Schools 

For more information on the George H. W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund and the 2023 grantees, visit RBFF’s website.



About RBFF 

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is a nonprofit whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, protecting, and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. To help recruit, retain and reactivate participants, RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ brands which educate the public on fishing, boating and conservation while inspiring them to hit the water. RBFF offers consumer research, website plugins, marketing education and shareable content to help better connect industry stakeholders and government agencies with their customers. 


About the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund 

The George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund was created by RBFF in 2014 when Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris donated $125,000 in honor of his friend, the late President George H.W. Bush, to bring fishing, boating and conservation to multicultural families in key metro areas of Texas and Florida. With the continued funding support of Bass Pro Shops and donations from other companies, the Education Fund has expanded nationally to continue educating and engaging multicultural communities throughout the United States in fishing and boating.



For further information: Bruna Carincotte bcarincotte@rbff.org