TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was awarded two grants to support state recruitment, retention and reactivation initiatives (R3) to increase boating and fishing.

The grants were awarded by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF). Texas is one of nine states to receive a grant, and the only state to be awarded funding for two separate programs, according to a release.

The funds provided to TPWD will power initiatives that focus on the retention of female anglers, with a special focus on Hispanic women, and messages aimed at reactivating lapsed anglers who bought a “year from purchase” fishing license.

“Women, and particularly Hispanic women, are one of Texas’ fastest-growing demographic groups who like to fish — with this funding, we can reach out to further engage them in the sport,” said Janis Johnson, TPWD marketing manager. “Another growth area is millennials, who buy the largest portion of our ‘year from purchase’ licenses. These anglers prefer texting to communicate so we’ll use some of the grant money to explore ways to reach them.”

Texas is being provided with $35,000 to support both initiatives. The programs must focus one of three areas:

  • Communicate the relevance of fishing and/or boating to urban, multicultural audiences to increase participation.
  • Implement angler and/or boater customer engagement strategies to retain and/or reactivate anglers and boaters to increase participation. 
  • Enhance the capability of agencies to develop and implement effective angler and/or boater recruitment, retention and reactivation efforts.

“RBFF has been instrumental in providing opportunities to states via grants, which allow us to create and implement targeted marketing campaigns that we would otherwise be unable to perform,” said Jason Mercer, TPWD R3 boating and fishing coordinator.

The R3 program funds initiatives that “focus on increasing fishing license sales, boat registrations and participation.”