NonProfit Activities

Baby Chinook Program

Since 2001, the Grand Haven Offshore Challenge has been sponsoring local classrooms by supplying equipment and support to participate in the Michigan DNRE Salmon in the Classroom program.  For the 2009 – 2010 school year we are sponsoring 8 classrooms in Ottawa and Muskegon counties.

Salmon in the Classroom is an exciting program that teaches students about our state's Great Lakes ecosystem and fisheries management through interactive, hands-on learning.  This instrumental learning experience allows students the opportunity to raise, care for and maintain the salmon in their classroom from fall until spring. The program culminates at the end of the school year with the release of the young fish in a local watershed that feeds one of the Great Lakes.

For many students, participation in the program provides a truly motivational experience. To watch life unfold before their eyes, to guide the growth and health of developing fish, and later release those fish into a natural, quality habitat can be a life changing experience for some.

Click here to see what the students are writing about having salmon in their classroom.

 

Read more: Baby Chinook Program

 

Grand Haven Net Pen Project

Beginning more than 20 years ago, the Fisheries Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources 'plants' Chinook Salmon fingerlings at selected sites in early spring.  The Grand Haven Offshore Challenge contributes yearly to the Grand Haven Steelheaders net pen fund, which is used to cover all costs for the net pen project.

Working with volunteers and financial support from the Grand Haven and Grand Rapids Steelheaders and many other local groups, the Fisheries Division rear young Chinook Salmon in net pens in downtown Grand Haven. The fish are held in the pens for 3-4 weeks, being fed three times a day by volunteers. When the fish smolt and lose their parr marks (vertical bars) they are released into the Grand River for their journey to Lake Michigan.

According to DNR data, fish raised in net pens have a higher survival rate then those released directly into the river. Net pen rearing also enables the fish to imprint on the river they are released into, increasing their chance of returning to the river in three years.
 

West Michigan Teen Challenge Support

Beginning in 1997 The Grand Haven Offshore Challenge and West Michigan Teen Challenge teamed up to manage the fish weigh in activities during the 2 day Pro / Am fishing tournament.  Teen Challenge students work in teams to help out with the boats stopping at the break wall to drop off their cooler and an angler for the weight-in.  All fish weighed in during the first day of the two day tournament are donated to Teen Challenge; donation of fish by the anglers is optional for day two.  The student teams collect the fish after weigh-in and take them to the local fish cleaning station.  At the cleaning station the students, clean and pack the donated fish to take back to refill their campus freezers.  At each tournament enough fish is donated to feed the 100 students and support staff two meals a week for a year.  The donation of fresh water fish is not only a healthy meal but also a large financial break for Team Challenge who now has 10,400 meals taken care of.

 West Michigan Teen Challenge endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive (www.wm-tc.com).

   

Scholarship Program

In 2004 the Grand Haven Offshore Challenge teamed up with the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation to produce the Grand Haven Offshore Challenge Scholarship Fund. Presented to a graduating senior from the Grand Haven, Ferrysburg or Spring Lake area High Schools who wishes to pursue a career in natural resources, such as fisheries, wildlife, and environmental water quality at any public or private college or university.   To date five, scholarships totaling $5,000 have been awarded.
   

Yearly Donations

The Grand Haven Offshore Challenge actively donates to the local community.  Some of our donations include:
  • North Ottawa Area Hospice
  • Donation to the Nature Center at P.J Hoffmaster State Park