For immediate release: February 10, 2015
Media contact: Andrew Walker, Foundation President & CEO, 941 809-7805 or awalker@wildlifeflorida.org
Photos available

Foundation and Florida’s Boating Industry
to say “I DO” in Miami.

The Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF) is teaming up with Florida’s boating industry at the Miami Boat Show to support the “I DO” campaign. The campaign asks everyone to say “I DO” and invest in the state’s fishing industry by purchasing a Florida fishing license. The small $17 investment pays huge dividends to the entire state, beginning with more than 80,000 jobs and an $8 Billion annual impact on Florida’s economy from recreational fishing alone.

Expanding on the particulars of the Campaign, Foundation Chairman Rodney Barreto explained, “We are in just the first year of our five-year campaign to sell 500,000 more licenses in Florida annually. Our goals are simple:

  1. Sell 500,000 new fishing licenses in Florida,
  2. Educate the public about the impact of purchasing a fishing license,
  3. Create more opportunities to engage our youth in fishing.”

Barreto continued, “The partnership with the boating industry is a natural. We have over 900,000 registered boats in Florida and over 60% of our boaters’ fish.”

Additional funds raised by the sale of additional fishing go directly to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). They are used for a variety of recreational fishing projects, such as handicapped-accessible fishing piers and boat ramps, stocking fish, law enforcement, improving habitat, fish research, and fisheries’ management.

While more than three million people fish in Florida each year, only about half buy fishing licenses. There are several reasons for this. For example, anglers over 65 or under 16 are not required to have a license. Unfortunately, when an angler doesn’t buy a license for any reason, Florida loses money by missing out on its full share of annual allocated Federal conservation funds. Simply stated, the more licenses sold, the more money raised for the State’s fishing resources, so buying a license when you don’t have to makes a very important contribution to Florida and Florida’s future.

The Foundation is proud to be working closely with Florida’s boating industry, and its influential leaders like Joe Neber from Contender, Peter Truslow from Edgewater and Chris Peterson from Hell’s Bay. They are asking the industry to include fishing license gift cards with every new boat sold in Florida. The card will soon be available from the FWC and their innovative vendor, Brandt Information Services, Inc. of Tallahassee.

“We need to do everything we can to make sure fishing thrives in Florida,” continued Barreto. “It is vitally important to the economic future of the state, but even more important, to the future well-being of our children. It’s the perfect way to teach them to love nature and the great outdoors.”

The I DO campaign ensures that future stays viable. Buying a fishing license is easy. You can purchase a license online at License.MyFWC.com, at county tax collectors’ offices, or at any license agent around the state. The Foundation asks you to please say “I DO” and help keep Florida the Fishing Capital of the World.” Barreto said.

About the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida

The FWFF is a 501c3 nonprofit started in 1994 as the citizen support group for what is now the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Its mission is to partner with the FWC to ensure the conservation and enhancement of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources so they survive and thrive for current and future generations of Florida residents and visitors. “Florida is like no other place on earth, working together we can keep it that way.”

For more information on the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and how every Florida resident or guest can support the Foundation, visit WildlifeFoundationofFlorida.com