Captains For Clean Water starts relief fund to get Florida guides back on the water during Covid

July 14, 2020

Together with conservation partners, leading industry brands, and generous donors, we were able to give back to the guiding community.

At the height of their season, fishing guides have been heavily impacted by Covid-19, losing the majority of the business they rely on to support their families throughout the year.

Captains For Clean Water gathered together generous donors who were eager to help, started a fund, and raised $40,775 to support local guides. We were able to hire 89 full-time fishing guides, from the panhandle to the Florida Keys, to load up their families and clean-up litter around their home waters, also giving them an opportunity to teach the importance of environmental stewardship.

Clean-up photos came in by the boatload—instead of posing with fish, their loved ones were smiling big with piles of debris they’d plucked from their local beaches, mangroves, and waterways. Plastic bottles, styrofoam cups, tangled lines, seat cushions, cigarette butts, and more.

“We enjoyed it so much, we decided to make clean-ups like this a regular event for our little family,” said Captain Ben Geroy of Naples Backwater Fishing Charters. Participating guides were also featured on Captains For Clean Water’s social channels and emails, encouraging folks to support guides by booking a charter.

100% of funds raised went directly to guides and their families, and 0% went to Captains For Clean Water donations, overhead costs, or operational expenses.

Captain John Gauntt of Day 5 Charters in Fort Myers shared sentiments similar to what we’ve heard from countless guides who participated, “From the bottom of my family’s heart, thank you so much to those who contributed to be able to do this really gracious donation to the captains and take care of our families. Really, really grateful. Thank you for taking care of us in this tough time and we want to make sure we’re taking really good care of the water.”

Thank you to the many donors who made this effort possible, including: Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Community Foundation of Collier County, The Everglades Foundation, The International Game Fish Association, Nautilus Reels, S.Kent Rockwell Foundation, Sight Line Provisions, the Nesbeda Family Fund,  and Cody Richardson.

A Message from Captain John Gauntt:

A Message from Capt. John Gauntt from Captains For Clean Water on Vimeo.