NASBLA News (July-Aug 15)

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Operation Dry Water draws nationwide participation

ODW_NeverNASBLA and hundreds of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies participated in Operation Dry Water 2015, a national boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign. This year’s event took place June 26-28.

The goal of Operation Dry Water is to bring awareness to the dangers of boating under the influence as well as reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities on our nation’s waterways through heightened enforcement during the Operation Dry Water weekend. 

Reports are still coming in, but early numbers indicate another successful year for the BUI campaign. As of July 13, 48 percent of registered agencies have submitted their reports. From those reports, we know that 210 BUI arrests were made, 98,950 boaters were contacted, and 9,256 boating safety warnings and citations were issued during the three-day weekend. These numbers are expected to increase significantly as the remaining agencies submit their reports.

For more information, visit

State RBS leaders meet in Lexington


July 20-24, 2015, NASBLA hosted its fifth Leadership Academy, a weeklong program designed to create learning opportunities where participants experience events with others, actively participate in dialogue, visually see examples and connect with peers as a cohort learning.

This year’s participants included:

  • Herb Angell, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
  • Rick Barrera, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators
  • Cindy Bellar, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Leslie Casterline, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Gary Klein, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Joseph McCullough, Alaska Office of Boating Safety
  • Glenn Moates, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  • Denise Peterson, California State Parks
  • Chris Stone, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • David Trader, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

NASBLA’s Executive Board met earlier in the week, in conjunction with the Leadership Academy. Topics of discussion included an update from the U.S. Coast Guard, committee work, waterways management issues, the new Maritime Pro Caucus, Operation Dry Water, government relations, recreational boating professional certification, among other items.

Small Craft Advisory earns APEX Award


Small Craft Advisory has been recognized with an Award of Excellence from the Annual Awards for Publication Excellence Competition (APEX), an international competition for writers, editors, publications staff and communicators in corporate, nonprofit and independent settings.

The publication garnered an Award of Excellence in the Magazine, Journals & Tabloids – 1-2 Person-Produced subcategory.

Judges evaluated 1,900 entries in 11 major categories, with 749 Awards of Excellence recognizing exceptional entries in 100 subcategories.

NASBLA delivers GPS Forensics courses to FLETC instructors

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On July 7-8, 2015, NASBLA Instructors Paul Alber, Matt Majors and Eric Lundin delivered two GPS Forensics courses to 49 students at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia. Most of the students were FLETC instructors, primarily from the Marine Training and Technical Operations Divisions, in addition to students from several state and local agencies, including the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Glynn County Sheriff’s Office and Glynn County Police Department.

The GPS Forensics course provides law enforcement officers with a foundation for recovering evidence from GPS devices and preparing it for courtroom presentation. Course evaluations all contained very high scores and many of the students wrote compliments on the instructors’ knowledge and experience levels. Other positive comments stated that the course materials were relevant and useful to all skill levels and students did not need “tech” experience to understand the information.

Online navigation course available


Officers, don’t forget: NASBLA offers an online Navigation Rules course just for you. Designed for marine law enforcement officers, the Navigation Rules for Marine Law Enforcement Officers course will teach you how to apply the navigation rules when taking enforcement action and investigating boating-related accidents.

The course fee is $95. After passing the course, you can immediately print out a NASBLA Navigation Rules Online Course Completion Certificate.

To take the course, visit   

This program was created by NASBLA and produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The program can be taken on your computer or any mobile device.

Group meets to discuss launch of caucus for maritime responders and officers


The last week of June, the Board of Directors for NASBLA’s Maritime Professional Responders & Officers Caucus (Maritime PRO) met to finalize the group’s bylaws, discuss membership benefits and dues and make suggestions for the caucus’s website and social media strategy, among other items in preparation of the caucus’s launch. The Maritime Professional Responders & Officers Caucus will be a nonprofit mutual-benefit organization that will give the men and women who work in the maritime domain a voice and support for their missions they perform daily on our waterways. 

2015 Confluence Awards recipients recognized

The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are proud to announce United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Vincent B. Atkins, and Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania as the recipients of the 2015 Confluence Awards.

“Very often, efforts like these go unrecognized,” comments NASBLA President Eleanor Mariani. “These men have each demonstrated that collaborative efforts can help shape a more positive boating experience throughout our nation.”

Rear Admiral Vincent B. Atkins, Deputy of Operations Policy and Capabilities, received the Confluence Award for his efforts in strengthening the state/federal partnership in recreational boating safety. Recognizing the critical, historical role the state boating programs play in implementing the National Recreational Boating Safety Program, Admiral Atkins has worked to foster a more collaborative approach to setting national program priorities and achieving strategic program goals.

Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Mike Kelly received this year’s Confluence Award for their leadership and support of the Strategic Response to Asian Carp Act in the 113th Congress. The act was integrated into the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA), signaling a significant broadening of the fight against the spread of Asian Carp and taking a more holistic watershed approach to preventing the spread and minimizing the impact of this threat to public safety and recreational boating. 

To learn more about the Confluence Awards or to nominate an individual for the 2016 Confluence Awards, visit

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