ANN ARBOR, MICH. (August 15, 2019) — Fishing apparel brand RepYourWater has issued a limited edition hat in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation to raise awareness and funds for the organization’s work to support efforts to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes and reduce their numbers in the Mississippi River watershed. Just this week, a new study said that Asian carp would thrive throughout Lake Michigan if they invaded.
“When we started RepYourWater, it was imperative that we didn’t just represent our water visually with apparel but also through action and donations,” said Garrison and Corinne Doctor, co-founders of RepYourWater. “Helping the Great Lakes Regional Center of the National Wildlife Center and their fight to protect the Great Lakes against the invasion of Asian carp is part of that mission and we are proud to continue to support their work with this collaborative hat.”
The National Wildlife Federation is advocating for Congress to approve a project to rebuild the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, south of Chicago, which will include a gauntlet of fish deterrent technologies designed to block Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan. If they were to swim into the Great Lakes, they could undermine the region’s $7 billion sport fishery by starving out popular native and sport fish species. Asian carp reproduce rapidly and eat large quantities of plankton, at the base of the aquatic food chain, depleting food sources for forage and sport fish. Additionally, silver carp create a safety hazard for anglers by jumping out of the water when disturbed by boat motors. The Brandon Road plan has been approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and now awaits congressional approval and appropriation before it can begin. Anglers can encourage their members of Congress to support the plan to stop Asian carp by taking action here.
The navy blue trucker hat features a patch with the words “Protect Your Water” underlined with a fly rod atop the words “Stop Asian Carp.” 50% of the proceeds from the sale of the hat, available online and through select fly shops, will be donated to the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center, as well as the proceeds from a matching sticker released last summer. RepYourWater also donates 3% of the sale of its Great Lakes, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana themed apparel to the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center and sponsors the National Wildlife Federation Outdoors Podcast through its 3% for Conservation initiative.
“We greatly appreciate the support of RepYourWater for our efforts to protect our waters and stop Asian carp, as well as the numerous other conservation efforts they support through their 3% for Conservation commitment,” said Drew YoungeDyke, senior communications coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. “I can’t understate how much it means for a business like RepYourWater to support conservation efforts like this, both from the financial help they provide to our work to protect our fisheries and the voice that they can uniquely add as part of the $887 billion outdoor recreation industry that depends on clean waters, public lands, and healthy fish and wildlife.”
RepYourWater is an apparel brand dedicated to providing uniquely designed, top quality gear for anglers and hunters while increasing support of local conservation and inspiring exploration. RepYourWater donates 3% of every gear purchase to its conservation partners. Learn more about RepYourWater’s conservation efforts at www.repyourwater.com.
Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation works to unite all Americans to help wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Its Great Lakes Regional Center works on critical regional and national water resource issues, with a focus on protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and human communities, which rely upon them. Learn more at www.nwf.org/greatlakes.