Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation (CISF) , a 501 (c) 3 Foundation, was started in 2000 with a modest endowment by Bradford N. Swett, a lifelong sailor with a passion for sailing. Brad’s daughter, Hannah, an accomplished sailor and summer resident of Jamestown, took over as President of the Foundation when Brad passed away. The Foundation’s main mission to both provide & promote marine access, marine education, sailing and sailboat racing to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. In doing so, CISF aims to develop the next generation of ocean and environmental stewards, as well as bring more people into the sport of sailing.
Since its’ inception, CISF has been assisting sailors on Conanicut Island by providing financial assistance to those who want to learn how to sail or compete in regattas at the international level. The addition of Jamestown Sea Adventure Camp in 2012 expanded CISF’s reach to a much broader base to include non-Jamestown residents as well.
CISF’s capital is supplemented by local fundraising efforts through an annual silent auction, as well as a fall Fundraising appeal. Over the past several years CISF has dedicated a significant amount of financial resources to Jamestown Sea Adventure Camp, held at the Town-owned park, Fort Getty. Each year of camp brings more awareness to the needs associated with providing such a service, but mostly it highlights the need for such a camp and the joy, confidence, and outdoor awareness being on and in the water brings to local youth.
In recent years, CISF has added a significant number of shoulder season programs, as well as in-school programs to support the curriculum in the two Jamestown Schools, Melrose and Lawn. After school sailing (grades 5-8), kayaking (grades 5 – 8), Backyard Explorers (grades 1-4), and Eco-Club (grades 6 – 8) are the main after school programs. CISF’s in-school programming is a part of our larger STEAM Ocean Education Initiative. All of CISF’s in-school programs are free! In fact, all of CISF’s programs are either partially subsidized to make them accessible and affordable to all, or programs are free.
CISF has grown tremendously from when it was founded. The organization has grown beyond what one man and his family can fund. CISFs endowment now allows CISF to try new programming and to grow modestly. However, CISF is dependent on public support through donations and grants.
Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation would LOVE to have a permanent home at Fort Getty. It is an ideal environment for marine education and water access. CISF has offered to fundraise to build a facility at Fort Getty from which we can operate year-round. To that end, CISF is pursuing a public-private partnership with the Town of Jamestown to create a community sailing and marine education center in Jamestown at Fort Getty. Any help and support we can garner is very much appreciated! Letters and emails of support can be sent to Meg Myles (CISFSailing@gmail.com), or directly to Jamestown’s Town Council: