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Waterway Cleanup Earns Two Pro Anglers
BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Award
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., February 24, 2010 -- Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, and Tim Horton of Florence, Alabama, understand all too well that in order to catch the big one, you have to take care of our waterways. So they decided to spearhead a waterway cleanup in advance of the 2008 Professional Anglers Association (PAA) Corporate Cup on Pickwick Lake, Tennessee. Those efforts earned them a BoatUS Foundation Environmental Leadership Award , which was presented to the professional anglers this past weekend at the 40th Bassmaster Classic on Lay Lake in Alabama. The award recognizes those who have made a significant impact advancing clean boating and educating boaters about how they can minimize their environmental impacts.
The day before the 2008 PAA tournament Klein and Horton organized 13 boats of tournament anglers to clean up the lake. “We try to leave it better than the way we found it,” said Klein, as the group hauled in more garbage than the bags could hold – hundreds of pounds of trash, tires and broken chairs. “If anglers from all around the country took some initiative while traveling to various competitions, it would help inspire the local community to continue the effort and help take care of their waterways long after we’re gone,” he added.
“Professional anglers are at the top of the list of true conservationists. We teach it to youth and we want to show it by our actions. Seeing my friends and competitors take enough time to fill a city trash truck with garbage was something special,” Horton said.
The pair was nominated for the award by Kay Smallwood of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association through Life On The Water magazine. “It is great to see professional anglers like Tim and Gary involved in engaging others in conservation activities,” she said.
“Role models like Gary and Tim, who make cleanup events a part of the professional bass circuit, can have an enormous impact,” said, Susan Shingledecker, director of environmental programs for the BoatUS Foundation.
Two other groups, The Association of Marine Industries of Long Island, NY and the Punta Gorda (FL) Boaters Alliance were also recognized for their efforts at educating boaters about environmental issues.
The BoatUS Foundation selection committee chose this year’s recipients from over 30 nominations, looking for individuals and organizations who have made a significant positive impact on the environment, contributed towards solving an environmentally challenging aspect of boating or boat maintenance, helped others understand the importance of clean boating, enthusiastically promoted clean boating and engaged others in their efforts.
About the BoatUS Foundation:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is an innovative leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. It provides educational outreach directly to boaters with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit was founded in 1981 and is funded primarily by the half-million members of BoatUS.