WINTER PARK, Fla. – Bonnier Corp., one of the largest special-interest media groups in the country, hosted members of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and The Water Sports Foundation (WSF) on Aug. 21 for a comprehensive overview of the three organizations’ ongoing partnership to increase awareness of safe boating practices in the United States.

Through an annual federal grant from the U.S. Coast Guard, WSF partners with the industry-leading multimedia marine brands at Bonnier Corp. to reach millions of boaters each year with relevant safety messaging. These channels include Boating, Wakeboarding, Yachting, Marlin, Sport Fishing and Salt Water Sportsman magazines, all produced at Bonnier Corp.’s Winter Park, Fla., office.

The program focuses on educating recreational boaters about life jacket wear, boating while intoxicated and navigation rules, while also addressing topics such as accident reporting and engine lanyard wear. Highlights from the 2016 Bonnier Corp. boating safety survey reported a decrease of 14.5 percent in people who allow drinking on their boats and an increase of 5.1 percent in boat owners reporting the use of life jackets for towed water sports.

This coalition of influencers last gathered in November 2015 to discuss strategic initiatives to elevate boating safety consciousness. With the program now in its seventh year, this meeting began with a look back at the past six years’ achievements and an introduction for Captain Scott Johnson, who was recently appointed as the head of the USCG’s Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety.

As the nation’s leading authority on boating safety, Captain Johnson commended the WSF and Bonnier Corp. teams on their dedication to the boating safety mission.

“Boating safety is a vitally important issue, a matter of life and death for millions of Americans, and this partnership on safe boating campaigns is critical for changing behaviors and saving lives,” Johnson said. “The results from the past six years are impressive, and I look forward to overseeing continued improvement during my tenure in this office.”

In addition to creating and running ads promoting safe boating objectives, Bonnier Corp.’s team of marine editors and content creators dedicates time and resources to developing editorial and social media content focused on safe boating practices year-round.

“We are committed to raising boating safety awareness among the millions of recreational boaters, wakeboarders, anglers, sailors, charter captains and other enthusiasts that our brands interact with every day,” said Glenn Sandridge, group publisher of the boating and water sports brands at Bonnier Corp. “Not only do we feel it is our duty to our audiences, but it is also our responsibility as boaters, parents and friends of boaters ourselves.”

The 2017-2018 program will peak during National Safe Boating Week (May 19-25) and Operation Dry Water (June 29-July 1). Both of these USCG-sponsored campaigns are held annually in an effort to encourage safe boating practices around Memorial Day and Fourth of July, the biggest boating holidays of the year.

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