The Time is Now: 150 Years in the Making

Doug Austen | AFS Executive Director

The American Fisheries Society will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2020. This milestone anniversary represents a century and a half of achievements to advance the field of fisheries and aquatic resources. Celebrating 150 years of fisheries science and conservation allows us to honor the past and set the course for the future. It also creates an opportunity for greater financial support.

Over the next 2 years, AFS is organizing activities to recognize this milestone. One activity we are excited about is the launch of the 1870 Society, a giving society to recognize and encourage contributions from donors in support of the mission and programs of AFS. Named for the year AFS was established, the 1870 Society pays homage to the impressive history of AFS and establishes a channel for our community to raise financial resources to safeguard the future. In our ever‐changing world, it is critical that AFS is able to sustain and protect our programs from future economic uncertainties.

Our field is facing challenges in research funding, career opportunities, and access to affordable and impactful education and training. We are seeing a greater need than ever before to better communicate our science and engage decision makers in policy and public opinion. We are proud of how AFS has grown and with that growth comes changes and challenges. The 1870 Society will provide a vehicle for financial contributions to support both expected and unexpected prospects that come from growth, including unrestricted gifts. These gifts are designed to cover areas of greatest need within AFS, and to enable innovation and growth that will position us to take on new opportunities without compromising resources from other programs.

We view these funds as investments. This support from members and friends, raised from 1870 Society, will be invested in important areas such as education, training, professional development, and policy. In addition, funds raised through the 1870 Society will be used to support improvements that will directly benefit the service we provide to our members and community. We view those members and supporters who join the 1870 Society as champions. Your generosity will make the difference for AFS, our members, and the field of fisheries. The 1870 Society members are committed stakeholders helping us to fund strategic plan initiatives that might otherwise be delayed or unfunded.

We understand that partnering with like‐minded individuals is key in advancing our mission. We have opened up the opportunity for the 1870 Society membership to include those beyond AFS membership, but share an interest in protecting fish and aquatic resources. Those individuals will be able to support AFS and the science we care about, the resources we work to conserve, and the people we work alongside.

Are you ready to invest in the mission of AFS? Are you ready to become a champion of fishery resources, science, and professionals? Join today with a tax‐deductible gift of at least $150. Your philanthropic leadership will be recognized in Fisheries and other AFS publications. For more information and steps to join, visit