News: District stresses water safety; flexes lock operations for recreational boaters
Story by Sandra Arnold
GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District is gearing up for a busy Memorial Day holiday along the Texas coast by stressing water safety awareness to all those who will enjoy outdoor activities this extended weekend. The arrival of the Memorial Day holiday weekend will bring an increased level of outdoor activities throughout Texas, especially with outdoor recreation involving water activities at public beaches, in swimming pools, while boating and engaging in other aquatic-related activities.
To accommodate the increased recreational boating traffic during the holiday weekend, the district will open the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates May 23 at noon and will return back to normal operations May 27 (which currently limit swing gates to opening every hour on the hour).
According to Kristine Brown, USACE Galveston District’s Water Safety Program manager, the Corps realizes the important role that education plays in saving lives and requests the public to wear life jackets and read warning signs when recreating on the water this busy weekend.
“This year, as of April 30, 11 children and teens have already drowned in Texas, with two in the Greater Houston area,” said Kristine Brown, natural resources specialist and park ranger for the USACE Galveston District. “We understand the important role that education plays in saving lives and we’re working with our partners to extend our drowning prevention knowledge, skills, expertise and services to promote education and prevent downing.”
Throughout 2013, the district partnered with Telemundo, the Safe Kids Greater Houston Water Safety Coalition, Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark and Bass Pro Shops to educate those who recreate on or around the water, minimize the potential for loss of life due to drowning and improve public safety at Corps’ lakes, recreational areas and facilities.
Brown encourages visitors to check local water and weather conditions and pay attention to recreation warnings such as river closures from local emergency services offices prior to entering the water. Additionally, she stresses wearing a life jacket to save lives.
USACE is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation on all federally-managed public lands in the nation. The USACE Galveston District has a long history of leading the way in safety initiatives for the protection of life and property and is available to assist in water safety educational engagements by calling district’s Water Safety Program Manager Kristine Brown at 281-497-0740 or emailing Kristine.N.Brown@usace.army.mil.
To learn more about the USACE Galveston District’s Water Safety Campaign, visit http://1.usa.gov/VGdlcx. To learn more about Safe Kids Greater Houston, visit http://www.safekidsgreaterhouston.org. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.