Aquatic Resource Education grant funds are authorized through the Sport Fish Restoration Act, which provide funds to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas fish and wildlife agencies, for their aquatic resource education programs. The purpose of these funds are to enhance the public's understanding of aquatic resources and sportfishing, and to promote the development of responsible attitudes and ethics toward the aquatic environment.

What We Do

Our Services

Examples of funded projects include: 1) basic angling/fishing classes, often led by volunteer instructors and targeted primarily to youth, who teach basic angling skills such as knot tying, casting, tackle and rigging, fishing techniques, fish identification, angler ethics, and water safety; 2) free fishing events for families; 3) Learn-to-Fish workshops targeting primarily new adult anglers; and 4) aquatic biology classes.

Source of Funds

Sport Fish Restoration Act funds are derived from excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, import duties, and interest collected in the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. These funds are apportioned annually to the states, the District of Columbia and insular areas based on land area and number of paid license holders, with set minimums and maximums. 

Up to 15 percent of a state's apportionment can be used for their Aquatic Resource Education Program. The District of Columbia and the insular areas are exempt from the 15 percent limitation. States must provide at least 25 percent of project costs from non-federal dollars. Insular areas are not required to provide any project costs.