Monday, November 23, 2009

NSBC Announces 2010 Contest and Grant Deadlines

The National Safe Boating Council is an advocate for boating safety and education and a unifying resource for organizations that seek the goal of safer boating through education. As the foremost coalition for advancing and promoting a safer recreational boating experience through education, outreach and training, the council joins patron level partner organizations to offer two annual contests and one grant.

These opportunities recognize individuals and organizational partners in the boating community that create innovative programs designed to improve boating education and raise awareness of recreational boating-safety issues. Squadrons and districts are urged to apply for these funding opportunities.

BoatU.S. Boating Safety Youth Program Award
The Boating Safety Youth Program Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have developed and successfully implemented innovative youth boating education programs that target safety issues and concerns of national interest.

The award’s goal is to encourage the development of innovative youth boating safety education programs. To qualify, a program must integrate safety practices and be targeted toward students 18 years of age or younger. Selection priority is given to unique or creative programs whose primary goal is increasing boat safety and safety awareness.

MillerCoors Alcohol Awareness Impact Award
The Alcohol Awareness Impact Award recognizes one program each year that demonstrates an effective prevention and awareness strategy to address the misuse of alcohol while boating. The award’s goal is to promote activities that educate the community about the dangers of consuming alcohol while boating.

To qualify a program must provide a preventative strategy to eliminate alcohol consumption on the water. Unique programs and those emphasizing boating safety will be most favorably considered. An evaluation of the sponsoring organization’s related services and programs is also a consideration. Complete criteria may be found on the NSBC website.

Awarded annually, the BoatU.S. Boating Safety Youth Program Award and the MillerCoors Alcohol Awareness Impact Award each carry a $2,500 cash prize and a commemorative trophy. The award packages also include an expense-paid trip for a representative of the winning program to attend the International Boating and Water Safety Summit. Applicants agree to send a representative to the summit to receive their award; time is allowed in the summit agenda for each recipient to present a 45-minute workshop about the award-winning program.

Full contest descriptions along with application forms and may be found online at the NSBC website. The application is due no later than 31 Dec. of each calendar year. Applications will be evaluated by an NSBC Award Committee based on published criteria that includes a program description, budget proposal, and availability of the program to be duplicated by others. The NSBC may require an interview with the program administrator before final selection of each award is made.

Award monies may be used to purchase necessary equipment, audio visual aids, printing, teaching aids, program promotion and advertisement, rental time of pool or waterfront facilities, transportation to on-the-water sites or other costs associated with the advancement of the program. Funds may not be used as wages or salaries for instructors.

OMC Foundation Take ’em Boating Grant Program
The National Safe Boating Council Take ’em Boating Grant was developed to promote and develop interest in boating for future generations. Funded by the OMC Foundation on behalf of the former employees of the Outboard Marine Corporation, the Take ’em Boating Grant seeks to promote interest in boating safety, environmental awareness and the marine industry. The grant encourages organizations to develop creative and innovative programs to get kids into boats and on the water. It helps to demonstrate benefits of water-related activities to youth by getting them out on the water.

The $5,000 grant is awarded annually to the selected youth program that gets kids ages 6-18 safely into boating activities while promoting the future of the marine industry through environmental education, safety awareness and boating enjoyment. Applications from organizations, companies and agencies will be accepted each calendar year between 1 Oct. and 31 Dec. The winning applicant will be announced in early spring.

NSBC welcomes the opportunity to encourage and recognize projects that have made lasting contributions to the interest of boating safety. For inquiries about contests and/or grants contact the National Safe Boating Council at the addresses and phone number below.

National Safe Boating Council, Inc.
P.O. Box 509
Bristow, VA 20136
(703) 361-4294
office@safeboatingcouncil.org
safeboatingcouncil.org

P/R/C Joyce F. Shaw, AP
NSBC Secretary & Contest Committee Chair

Monday, November 16, 2009

USPS Adopts SailAngle.com as Standard Communication Platform

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA and SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – November 1, 2009 – The United States Power Squadrons (USPS), the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit boating organization with more than 40,000 members, and SailAngle.com LLC, a new boating website launched in January 2009, announced today the signing of an agreement that will pave the way to bring the members of USPS onto SailAngle.com.

“SailAngle.com worked with us to create special private communities for our members that will significantly improve our internal communications,” said Creighton Maynard, the Chief Commander for USPS. “In addition, our members will have access to the many additional features on SailAngle.com that are important for boaters.”

SailAngle.com launched its free public website in January 2009 and has already garnered more than 2,500 members. The feature-rich website is a hybrid between a boating oriented social network and a communication and information exchange platform where the content is supplied by its members.

“We are very happy to be associated with the United States Power Squadrons,” said Randy White, Co-Founder and President of SailAngle.com. “We created private groups for each of the 450 USPS Squadrons and organized them according to the 33 USPS Districts,” continued White. “This allows the national organization single click communication with the entire membership and similar single click communication from the Districts to their respective Squadrons.”

SailAngle.com combines all the features of a social network with many special features such as Ask-a-Pro that puts members in touch with seasoned professional mariners who answer their questions free of charge. Gourmet Galley is a treasure trove of recipes that work on a boat, many posted by charter yacht chefs who also post their cooking tips. The Destinations feature provides worldwide local boating knowledge, including anchoring and services available, with information posted by members who have actually been to the locations.

In keeping with the USPS mission of “promoting recreational boating skills and boating safety through education,” SailAngle.com also offers USPS educational courses on-line and hosts frequent Webinars on important boating topics. These features provide the USPS with access to a broader public audience and it is believed will increase membership in the USPS.

About United States Power Squadrons:
The United States Power Squadrons is the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit organization devoted to safe boating education. Founded in 1914, the USPS today has about 40,000 members and brings considerable boating knowledge and teaching experience to educating the boating public in safe boating practices. A program called “USPS University,” includes a Boat Operator Certification program consisting of four levels of demonstrated proficiency of on-the-water boating skills. For more information see the USPS website at http://www.usps.org


About SailAngle.com, LLC:
SailAngle.com is a free worldwide boating website established in January 2009. It combines aspects of social networking with communication and information exchange where the content is generated by the membership. In the first seven months the website garnered more than 2,500 members including many professional mariners and charter yacht chefs. With the recent agreement with the USPS, SailAngle.com expects to become an important boating website serving the needs of both the public and the USPS. For more information see the company’s website at http://www.sailangle.com




USPS Contact:
Tom Kemp
888-367-8777

SailAngle.com Contact:
Justin McChesney
858-229-4169

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

OceanGrafix offers USPS member discounts on print-on-demand NOAA nautical charts

OceanGrafix, NOAA’s official partner for POD (print on demand) nautical charts, is offering USPS members a 20 percent discount when they buy OceanGrafix charts online using a special promotional code that includes their district number.

To take advantage of the offer, go to https://www.nauticalchartsonline.com/n.c/index.html, place an order and proceed to checkout. At checkout, enter promotional code USPSD+(your district number). For example, if you are in District 22, your promotional code is USPSD22.

OceanGrafix and USPS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further their mutual goal of safety at sea.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Take advanced courses and win valuable prizes!

The USPS Education Department urges all members to take one or all seven advanced grade courses to be eligible to win one of 19 valuable prizes.

“This is an excellent opportunity for all squadron members to have fun while gaining valuable information in seamanship, piloting, navigation, weather, marine electrical systems and engine maintenance,” said National Educational Officer Bob Sweet.

“Being eligible to win handheld VHF radios and GPS’, navigational software sets, barometers, multimeters or chart plotters isn’t bad either,” Sweet added.

Sweet reminds everyone that successful completion of advanced grade courses leads to reduced boat insurance premiums.

Everyone who takes and passes an advanced grade course between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2010 will be entered to win! The drawing will be held and winners announced at the Fall Governing Board meeting in September 2010.

Click here for more information.

Monday, June 22, 2009

America’s Boating Course saves boaters money!

United States Power Squadrons has made it easy to earn a boating certificate, which is necessary to boat in many states.

America’s Boating Course 3rd Edition, certified by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard, is being offered nationwide.

Completing America’s Boating Course 3rd Edition qualifies most boaters for substantial discounts on their boating insurance—which more than pays for the course!

“The course has been extensively revised and rewritten to address new technological developments and meet updated state licensing requirements,” said Bob Sweet, national educational officer of the United States Power Squadrons.

The revised course also includes a completely new Introduction to Navigation chapter as well as Basic Piloting Skills, How GPS (Global Positioning System) Works, and Basic Concepts in Coastal and Inland Navigation.

Intended for boaters who want to take educational courses at their own pace and time, America’s Boating Course can be completed on the Internet, as a CD-based course or in a classroom setting. All course takers will receive an extensive full-color book as well as an animated and narrated self-study CD. The book and CD serve as easy-to-use references after the course has been completed.

A boating certificate for successfully completing America’s Boating Course may reduce your boat insurance premium by as much as 10 percent, said Sweet. He added that some insurers offer even greater discounts for those who also complete USPS advanced courses.

Sweet urged everyone interested in saving money and being safe on the water to contact United States Power Squadrons at 866-262-8222. Online course registration for Internet courses can be found at www.americasboatingcourse.com and registration for classroom courses can be found at www.usps.org.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Marine fuel tax rebates—are you eligible?

According to the American Boating Association, recreational boaters who purchase taxed fuel for use in their boats may be entitled to a refund of all or part of that ‘highway use tax’ depending on the state in which the fuel was purchased.
The following states offer rebates:
• Alaska
• Connecticut
• Massachusetts
• Missouri
• Nebraska
• North Carolina
• Texas
• Virginia
• Washington
• Wyoming
See the ABA for more information and links to individual state information.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photo contest winners announced

Final judging for the 2008 USPS Photo Contest took place during the 2009 Annual Meeting. A slideshow of winning photos can be seen here.

The first place winner was Thomas Reichard in the “Squadron Scenes” category. The subject was a D/5 raising the “Small Storm Flag” at Fort McHenry. Photo at left.

Second place went to Rita Sparacino for her “On the Water” photo of Sunset on Missisquoi Bay, Vermont.


Third place went to Brenda Abrams for her “Safety is Fun” photo of three children having fun titled “Woo-hoo.”

Fourth place went to Kathy Kempson for her “My Pride and Joy” photo of winter kayakers, she says is more fun than a barrel of frozen monkeys.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

FEMA's Citizen Corps Partners With United States Power Squadrons

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a newly-formed affiliation with the United States Power Squadrons (U.S. Power Squadrons) to support Citizen Corps, FEMA's grassroots effort to strengthen community preparedness through civic participation February 21.  This partnership expands the Citizen Corps network of national organizations working in partnership for community preparedness; the U.S. Power Squadrons is the twenty-seventh Citizen Corps Affiliate.

"The alliance between Citizen Corps and U.S. Power Squadrons makes for a natural homeland security team as the U.S. Power Squadrons are playing an increasingly critical role in maritime safety and security via the America's Waterway Watch and Waterway Awareness Programs," said Corey Gruber, Acting Deputy Administrator of FEMA's National Preparedness Directorate.

With over 2,300 local Citizen Corps Councils nationwide, Citizen Corps brings together and involves community and government leaders, community members and organizations in all-hazards emergency preparedness, planning, mitigation, response, and recovery.  Citizen Corps and the U.S. Power Squadrons each view community safety and emergency preparedness as a top priority for their respective organizations and the general public.

"Encouraging United States Power Squadron members to take on a larger role in disaster preparedness and civic engagement speaks to the core principals of our organization," said Commander Creighton Maynard. Jr., "and, now, through this affiliation with Citizen Corps, we are delighted to expand the U.S. Power Squadron's role in community preparedness through support for emergency planning, education and outreach, and training for the general public." 

The U.S. Power Squadrons, organized in 1914, is America's largest non-profit boating organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable through public education in seamanship, navigation and related marine safety topics. They have 45,000 members organized into 450 squadrons nationwide and U.S. territories.

For more information about FEMA and Citizen Corps, visit www.fema.gov and www.citizencorps.gov.  To learn more about the United States Power Squadrons, visit www.usps.org.