National Accolade for Watercraft Inspection Outreach Campaign

Media Release–Watercraft Inspection Outreach Campaign Award
Lake Tahoe, CA/NV—National recognition has been given to the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species watercraft inspection program once again, this time for the excellence of the public outreach campaign used to educate boaters about the program. The campaign, directed by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD), received a Silver Anvil award Thursday from the Public Relations Society of America—the nation’s most prestigious public relations award.
The watercraft inspection program is recognized nationally as one of the most comprehensive of its kind and along with it the brand identity of the public education program—We’re All in this Boat Together.
“We are honored by this award and grateful for the recognition of the tremendous work underway to protect Lake Tahoe from the threat of invasive species,” TRPA External Affairs Chief Julie Regan said. “Gaining boater awareness and support is absolutely crucial in this effort and our campaign successfully enlisted boaters as essential partners.”
The Silver Anvil award represents the highest pinnacle of success for comprehensive communication campaigns. The Tahoe boater education program promoted the message “Clean, Drain Dry” by featuring an image of unlikely shipmates sharing a small rowboat on Lake Tahoe. The first two years of the campaign resulted in 97 percent awareness of the inspection program among the target audience. In the third year, public support for the inspection program broke 80 percent. Research showed that before the campaign only 18 percent of boaters did so much as a visual inspection of their boats before entering Tahoe waters. Now most all boats arrive at Lake Tahoe clean and ready for launch.
“It’s a great success when a public education campaign can initiate this kind of environmental stewardship,” Tahoe RCD Invasive Species Program Manager Kim Boyd said. “Lake Tahoe’s inspection program emphasizes the prevention of all aquatic invasive species and the campaign’s positive message is a big part of that.”
TRPA partnered with Tahoe RCD to create a notable communications campaign that prepares the boating public for the inspections, improves their experience and gives them the knowledge to protect all waters they use from Aquatic Invasive Species. Local marketing firm Smith + Jones provided creative direction in the initial year of the campaign

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For information on the watercraft inspection program and to see some of the campaign visuals, visit www.tahoeboatinspections.com.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District cooperatively lead the effort to protect the Lake Tahoe watershed from Aquatic Invasive Species. For additional information, call Jeff Cowen at (775) 589-5278 or send an email to jcowen@trpa.org.
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