Captains For Clean Water has launched an Emergency Disaster Relief Fund to support the people and communities impacted by Hurricane Ian. Here’s what the money will be used for…
Funds are being used to employ impacted fishing guides for services that benefit southwest Florida’s healing and recovery, including waterway clean-ups, fishing charters for Hurricane Ian first responders, and water-quality research trips with science partners. Full-time fishing guides and boat captains who reside in Lee, Collier, or Charlotte County are invited to apply for the program.
“Hurricane relief isn’t what our organization was created to do, but since this directly impacts the people that fight with us for clean water, it’s our turn to fight for them,” said Capt. Daniel Andrews, Executive Director of Captains For Clean Water. “This relief fund allows us to help impacted fishing guides help our communities heal. We’ve had incredible response from organizations and brands nationwide who’ve been able to plug into this program and directly support local jobs, relief, and clean-up in the wake of this disaster.”
Within the first week of announcing the program, nearly 100 fishing guides have applied to take advantage of the work opportunities and over 400 first responders have signed up for fishing trips. Waterway cleanups are already underway and the program also supported recent red tide water sampling efforts in partnership with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and FWC’s Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
“Recovery is going to take years and we want this community to know we’re here to help as long as it takes. The response we’ve gotten from guides, first responders, and other community members just reaffirms how much this is needed,” said Capt. Chris Wittman, Director of Outreach and Engagement for Captains For Clean Water.
The fund has drawn donations into the community, such as $50,000 from Costa Sunglasses, $15,000 from Orvis, $15,000 from Simms Fishing, $45,000 from Huk Gear, and many more.
Captains For Clean Water also partnered with Community Cooperative, a charity organization working to eliminate hunger and homelessness, to make $100,000 available for guide relief through their Lee County Strong Emergency Relief Fund.
For information about the Captains For Clean Water Emergency Disaster Relief Fund and how you can give, visit captainsforcleanwater.org. 100% of donations go toward community relief and recovery efforts.
Eligible fishing guides can apply for the program and eligible Hurricane Ian first responders can sign up for charters at captainsforcleanwater.org.