Friends of Reservoirs Foundation: A Plan for Building and Growing Capacity to Improve Fish Habitat in Our Nations Reservoirs

Monday, September 9, 2013: 2:40 PM
Izard (Statehouse Convention Center)
Dave Terre , Inland Fisheries Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, TX
Craig Bonds , Inland Fisheries Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Tyler, TX
Jeff Boxrucker , Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, Norman, OK
The Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (RFHP) established the Friends of Reservoirs (FOR) Foundation to assist in fund-raising efforts to support reservoir fisheries habitat restoration projects. A website was developed (www.waterhabitatlife.org) a FOR outreach tool and fund-raising forum. Memberships in FOR are offered to groups and individuals. Memberships are focused on building local capacity for project development and funding and creating a link among FOR members and management agencies.  FOR membership provides tax-deductible status for locally-raised funds. FOR's non-profit status also expands granting opportunities because many grants are available only to non-profit organizations.  A strategy for marketing and promoting FOR has been developed and has been successfully implemented in Texas and in other states.  These strategies have successfully connected state biologists, angling groups, conservation groups, lakeside property owners, and local businesses interested in improving fish habitats in reservoirs.  Funding for local projects has been obtained and leveraged against private and public sources, including funds from RFHP.  Our successful strategies will be presented and shared in hopes of growing a much larger FOR network within the United States.