FishAmerica’s Gulf Fund

FishAmerica Gulf Fund Supports Gulf Coast Restoration Efforts

The FishAmerica Foundation expanded its Gulf Fund grant program in 2010 to include fisheries and their habitats were impacted by the Deep Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Fund was established in 2005 to provide funding for restoring fisheries habitat and recreational fishing facilities devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that 4.9 million barrels of oil was released into the Gulf of Mexico with disastrous effects on the region's fish and wildlife. The Foundation works with state and federal natural resource agencies and local community conservation groups to identify and prioritize projects such as wetland creation and restoration, aquatic vegetation planting, restoring fish habitat and rebuilding angler access in the Gulf Region. According to the 2011 NOAA Fisheries Report, the Gulf of Mexico is one of the most popular areas for recreational fishing in the United States with nearly six million saltwater anglers, taking over 24 million fishing trips each year, fishing for red drum, spotted seatrout, sheepshead and red snapper among others. Recreational fishing serves as the economic backbone for many coastal communities surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill impacted the nearly 2,300 tackle shops in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida's West Coast. The six million anglers combines resident and non-resident saltwater anglers in Alabama, Florida's West Coast, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas who fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Images from Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill - April 22, 2010
Oil Slick April 25, 2010
Oil Slick May 10, 2010

Photo Credit: NASA/

MODIS Rapid Response Team

Oil Slick Spreads off

Gulf Coast

April 25, 2010

Photo Credit: NASA/Goddard/

MODIS Rapid Response Team

NASA Sees Dull Gray Oil Slick Morph Into Letter 'J'

May 10, 2010

Images from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2005
Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Rita

Click on image to enlarge


Path of Hurricane Katrina

August 2005

Click on image to enlarge


Path of Hurricane Rita

September 2005

The FishAmerica Foundation is the conservation and research foundation of the American Sportfishing Association. FishAmerica unites the sportfishing industry with conservation groups, government agencies, fishing tournaments, corporations and charitable foundations, investing in fisheries conservation and research across the country. FishAmerica provides matching grants that empower citizen conservationists in their own communities. Since 1983, FishAmerica has provided more than $8 million for more than 800 fisheries conservation and research projects nationwide.

Delehide Cove   Oyster shell sits on a barge

An aerial view of restored wetlands along Delehide Cove. Volunteers enhanced nearly 400 acres of coastal habitat along Galveston Island's West Bay. Wetlands, provide critical spawning, rearing and foraging habitat for many recreationally-important fish including striped bass, flounder, menhaden, sea trout, and croaker. Wetlands also absorb flood waters and act as a barrier to storm surges.


Oyster shell sits on a barge before placement to create two new three-acre oyster reefs in Back Bay Biloxi and St. Louis Bay. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and its partners including the Coastal Conservation Association created the oyster reefs which are closed to harvesting and will provide critical spawning and rearing habitat for sportfish while improving water quality.

New Orleans City Park before   New Orleans City Park after

The aerial photos of the New Orleans City Park before and after Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans City Park Lagoons provide 11 miles and 120 acres of natural and man-made water bodies for fishing and boating in the nation’s fifth largest urban park. The project improved fish access into the lagoon, enhanced water quality for these and the freshwater species in the lagoons, and improved angler accessibility and safety. (Before: January 11, 2004. After: September 2005—water started to recede.)


Apply for Grants

At a Glance

Brunswick Continues Long-time Support of Coastal Habitat Restoration

FishAmerica received a $35,000 grant award from the Brunswick Public Foundation. The grant will be matched with funds from the NOAA Restoration Center and leveraged with an additional $1.3 million from the local communities to fund six grassroots projects to restore marine and estuarine habitat critical to marine fish.

Mercury Marine National Walleye Tournament Continues Support of FishAmerica

Mercury Marine recently donated $3,000 to FishAmerica through its National Walleye Tournament. The tournament has been donating $3,000 a year to FishAmerica for 28 years – totaling $84,000.

Bonnier Corporation Supports FishAmerica Gulf Fund

Bonnier Corporation made a $10,000 donation to the FishAmerica Gulf Fund to help FishAmerica’s efforts to support the expansion of existing healthy fisheries habitat and the creation of new fisheries habitat to ensure the future of sportfish in the Gulf.


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