New York B.A.S.S. Nation wins conservation award

New York B.A.S.S. Nation has won the 2013 Berkley Conservation Award.

The Berkley Conservation Institute  announced the award, worth $2,000 in cash, Monday and will present it at the B.A.S.S. Conservation Awards banquet Feb. 22 in Birmingham during the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

“The New York B.A.S.S. Nation is a role-model for other organizations to follow,” said Jim Martin, Berkley Conservaton Institute Conservation Director.

“Their members are making a difference. They have a great plan, are organized and dedicated. The Ramp Monkeys concept is something that every state B.A.S.S. Nation should emulate,” he said.

:Getting youth involved in conservation efforts is vital to the future of our aquatic resources. I salute the New York B.A.S.S. Nation for their commitment to the principles that the Berkley Conservation Institute holds dear,” Martin said.

In winning the Conservation Award, the New York B.A.S.S. Nation took a multi-pronged approach to battling invasive species in the Empire State.

State Conservation Director Barb Elliott worked with New York B.A.S.S. Nation youth clubs to form “Ramp Monkeys.” These groups attend area bass tournaments and first remove plant debris from launch areas, then as anglers pull their rigs out, the Ramp Monkeys use kid-power to “Clean, Drain and Dry” each boat and trailer.

The operation is an opportunity for outreach to anglers and boaters and an educational experience for the youth members.

The New York B.A.S.S. Nation members also continued to battle invasive water chestnuts by physically removing the plants from lakes, canals and rivers and worked with state agencies, lake associations, universities and watershed alliances to distribute educational/outreach materials to increase awareness of invasive species.

“The New York B.A.S.S. Nation is honored to receive this award,” said President Fred Blom. “I am proud of the accomplishments of the whole organization. We are all working hard to make a difference.”

Berkley Conservation Institute is a division of the Pure Fishing Co., the world’s largest tackle company headquartered in Columbia, SC.

The brand names of Pure Fishing include Abu Garcia, All Star Rods, Berkley, Fenwick, Mitchell, Penn, Pflueger, Shakespeare, Spiderwire and Stren.

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