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How conservation is benefiting from Boat Registration Reactivation Programme in US


The US fishing and boating industries are not the only beneficiaries from the annual Boat Registration Reactivation Programme.

With all fees going directly back to state agencies, the initiative generates funding for critical conservation projects. The programme is managed and financed by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and this week’s announcement that nearly 30,000 boats in 14 states had re-registered this year is all the more impressive given difficult circumstances.

Almost 50% fewer letters were sent to four fewer states compared to last year – a product of the sensitivities surrounding Coronavirus – yet key metrics like response rate and gross registration fees are up. “Even through extreme adversity, our programme continues to bring boaters back to the water,” said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. “It’s no surprise American families are looking to get back on the water and this programme gives them the nudge they need.”

This year, more than 315,000 letters were distributed to owners of boats with lapsed registrations, leading to gross registration fees of more than $1.2 million. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism partnered with the RBFF scheme for the first time. “The RBFF’s Boat Registration Reactivation Programme seemed almost too good to be true. It turned out better than expected for us in 2020,” said the Department’s Assistant Secretary, Mike Miller. “The timing was perfect, with Kansans anxious to spend time on the water during the pandemic. Not only did it generate revenue through the renewal of nearly 1,000 lapsed registrations, it also provided a unique opportunity to clean up our boater database, which proved to be an equally valuable outcome.”

The response rate for the 2020 programme was 10.76%, well above the direct mail benchmark of 2% and a 0.51% increase over 2019. To learn more about the programme, contact Joanne Martonik. Overall, the Boat Registration Reactivation Programme has reeled in more than 410,000 boat registrations, resulting in over $15m in gross registration fees since its launch in 2012.

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