U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., have introduced a bill that would expose more of America’s youth to the recreational sport of fishing.
According to the “2019 Special Report on Fishing,” conducted by the Outdoor Foundation and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, about 24.1 percent of kids fished in 2018, which is a good number if all of those kids kept at it. A majority do not.
The Youth Coastal Fishing Act would create a grant through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide young people, especially those in underserved communities, with more recreational fishing opportunities.
“More of our children should be fishing,” Wicker said. “My Youth Coastal Fishing Program Act would get more young anglers, particularly in underserved communities on the water enjoying this pastime.”
The bill would authorize $2 million for the Secretary of Commerce to establish grant-funded fishing programs through NOAA for nonprofit organizations, local governments, and education centers.
“This bill will help more kids get the tools, gear, and support they need to experience the outdoors and the benefits that come with it,” Cantwell said.
Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., and Congressman Donald McEachin, D-Va., along with 18 of their colleagues, recently introduced a sister bill in the House of Representatives.