West Marine, one of the world’s largest waterlife outfitters, is launching a program called BlueFuture® Fund to benefit youth boating, marine conservation and healthy fish stocks. Just announced on May 21, this fund is intended to provide continued support to causes that are central to West Marine’s mission—to “work to conserve marine resources, reduce our impact on the environment and promote boating,” as CEO Matt Hyde explains. This Donor Advised Fund is set up through Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, and all donations are tax deductible. Everyone from associates to vendors to customers are encouraged to recommend great non-profits who are deserving of grants.
To kick off the BlueFuture Fund, Hyde and West Marine founder Randy Repass are each contributing a lead donation, with following contributions by board members and the senior team. On World Oceans Day, June 8, West Marine will donate 5% of their sales, up to $70,000, to the fund. Any interested parties can also contribute to the fund by visiting www.cfscc.org/WestMarine.
This fund is just part of West Marine’s ongoing support of sustainability and community boating. Some of their other initiatives include reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 15% compared to a 2007 baseline, hosting “Cruising for a Cause” charity nights to support local marine based non-profits, and creating and launching Pure Oceans, a green line of boat maintenance products. They have also donated nearly $5.2 million to hundreds of non-profit organizations.
Hyde says, “We’re excited about setting up a sustainable way to share our commitment to youth boating, marine conservation and sustainable fisheries.”