On Sunday, June 9th, military families from across Texas gathered for a memorable day of fishing at the Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary, thanks to a collaboration between the National Park Trust, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and USAA.

Participants assembled at the pier early Sunday morning, catching the last glimpses of sunrise. They listened to an insightful introduction to the local marine sanctuary, discussing the diverse wildlife and the significance of protecting this vital ecosystem. Shortly thereafter, families boarded a 70-foot fishing charter, embarking on a swift journey to the first fishing spot in the bay. Along the way, they were treated to the sight of playful dolphin pods.

Throughout the day, families learned how to hook bait and cast lines, quickly mastering the art of fishing. Small catfish were the first to be caught, followed by various other small game fish as the charter moved between multiple fishing spots. The day finished with families taking home their catch and fishing gear for future adventures.

Partnering for the first time in 2024, USAA and National Park Trust are working together to engage Texas and Colorado-based active duty families in meaningful outdoor experiences that work to improve overall health & wellness, with a special focus on mental health.

This was the third outdoor recreation event provided by our new partner, USAA! Through these events, families are able to enjoy the great outdoors, learn new skills, and create lasting memories, reinforcing the invaluable role national parks play in promoting recreation, education, and family well-being.