BoatU.S. (Boat Owners Association of the United States) is one of the strongest and most supportive partners of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Association. As their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Boating Safety states, their partnership serves “to engage more boaters in the pastime of boating, to enroll more students in safety education courses, inform boaters about the importance of getting a Vessel Safety Check (VSC) and to encourage active participation in the Auxiliary, the Association, and in BoatU.S. organizations.” Starting in 2012, BoatU.S. is sponsoring the Vessel Safety Check (VSC) program and decals.
The BoatU.S. web site is geared primarily towards members, and among the service and benefits available to them are government representation, boat insurance, towing, loans, and lettering, classified ads, travel services, and roadside assistance for trailerboaters.
Of especial interest to all Auxiliarists and boaters, however, is the BoatU.S. Foundation, a national 501 ©(3) nonprofit organization “dedicated to promoting safe and environmentally sensitive boating. The Foundation's goal is to be the leader in boating safety and environmental education and outreach, with the purpose of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of our waterways, and keeping boating a safe, accessible, and enjoyable pastime.”
The BoatU.S. Foundation's online site contains a wealth of resources and information. For example, the Education Programs section includes links to the Boater's Toolbox, the BoatU.S. VHF/DSC radio tutorial, and free brochures.
The Clean Water Programs section includes the following topics: Help Stop the Drop; Sewage, MSDs and Pump Out; Stash Your Trash; Recycling; Fuel Efficiency and Alternative Fuels; Invasive Species; Algae Blooms and Pfiesteria; Ethical Angling and Fish Tagging Program; Clean Marinas; Environmental Leadership Award; and, Marine Debris.
The Boating Safety Programs area includes information about life jacket loaners for kids (see photo above), Foundation findings, EPIRB rentals, and Grassroots Grants.
Grassroots Grants (which funded the blimp in the photo at right) award volunteer organizations up to $4,000 to promote safe and clean boating education. The Foundation has awarded over a million dollars to community organizations, yacht clubs, flotillas and squadrons, and seeks creative and innovative projects that promote safe and clean boating on local waterways.