News: District partners with HSPS to promote safety on the water during 4th of July
Story by Sandra Arnold
GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District partnered with the Houston Sail and Power Squadron (a unit of the United States Power Squadrons) to provide recreational boaters with free vessel safety examinations July 4-5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Trinity River Island Recreation Area (also known as the Wallisville Lake Project Boat Ramp) in Wallisville, Texas.
The Vessel Safety Check is a complimentary service conducted by certified members of the Houston Sail and Power Squadron to confirm that vessels meet both federal and state safety requirements.
"All water activities are fun and they need to be safe,” said Chris Leavitt, HSPS. “Having the right safety equipment including life jackets, signaling devices, anchors and a first aid kit can make the difference between a small issue and a catastrophe.”
The USACE Galveston District is gearing up for a busy 4th of July (a holiday known for drinking and boating and deadly accidents), by stressing water safety awareness to all those who intend to recreate at the Wallisville Lake Project and encouraging boaters to put safety first and use caution over the holiday weekend.
“The safety check provides boaters with a risk-free way to determine if your boat meets the minimum legal requirements which could help to potentially avoid a citation later,” said Brian Walch, a park ranger for the USACE Galveston District at Wallisville. “Our partners will not issue citations nor will they report the safety check results to any enforcement agency.”
Walch added that education plays an important role in saving lives and that the district is working with several partners to provide drowning prevention knowledge, expertise and services to prevent accidents and encourage boaters to wear life jackets.
As the leading provider of outdoor recreation on all federally-managed public lands in the U.S., the Corps is dedicated to promoting water safety by encouraging the public to put safety first and become water aware when participating in water-related recreational activities. The district routinely partners with organizations throughout the year to educate, help reduce public fatalities and improve public safety at its lakes, recreational areas and public facilities such as Wallisville.
The 23,000-acre Wallisville Lake Project supports navigation of commercial and recreational boats, serves as a water supply, is a favorite recreational destination among Houstonians and supports an array of fish and wildlife habitats. From paddling, hiking, biking and fishing, the Wallisville Lake Project provides visitors unlimited recreational opportunities, offers awareness-raising educational opportunities and supports environmental partnership initiatives.
Visit our water safety website at http://1.usa.gov/VGdlcx. For information about the Wallisville Lake Project, visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Locations/WallisvilleLakeProjectOffice.aspx. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.