August 25, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Virginia Cramer, Sierra Club, 804-225-9113 x 102
Erin Mooney, Trout Unlimited, 703-284-9408
Sierra Club and Trout Unlimited Partner to Get Kids Fishing
Hundreds of Fishing Rods Donated to Youth Programs
Washington, D.C. – Today, Sierra Club and Trout Unlimited announced that they will formally partner in an ambitious campaign aimed at getting youth fishing. As part of the new partnership, Sierra Club will donate 700 fly fishing rods and reels to Trout Unlimited to use for their youth programs and outreach.
The new partnership is part of an effort that started in 2008 when the Sierra Club began working with the Federation of Fly Fishers to encourage children to fish. The groups donated 2,800 fishing rods to programs that so far have taken over 98,000 kids fishing.
"Our goal is to give children an opportunity to experience the joy of fishing and the wonder of the outdoors. Studies show that children who spend time outside are healthier, happier, and do better in school," said Bart Semcer, Director of Sierra Club's hunting and angling heritage program. "By exposing youth to the natural world at a young age, we also help build the next generation of conservationists. These young anglers will continue working to protect our clean water and our outdoor heritage long after we are gone."
“This generous donation will substantially increase our ability to provide children with a true hands-on fishing and conservation learning experience,” said Bryan Moore, Vice President of Trout Unlimited’s Volunteer Operations. “One rod, in one child’s hands, is the most effective way to introduce a young person to an experience that will hopefully have a lasting impression on their love for the outdoors. While conserving, protecting and restoring streams and clean water is a noble effort today, those efforts will ring hollow if young people are not actively engaged in the world around them.”
The Sierra Club's youth fishing outreach is a joint effort with Sierra Sportsmen network and the Water Sentinels program. The Sierra Club's Water Sentinels program trains volunteers to collect water samples and monitor data with the goal of getting these waterways cleaned up.
Trout Unlimited’s youth education programs include member-driven activities such as First Cast and Youth Conservation Academies, where children participate in activities ranging from basic casting and angling techniques, to fly tying, stream ecology and other conservation instruction.
Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization and is dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. In 2009, TU celebrates its 50th anniversary.