NASBLA News (March 2016)


Help shape NASBLA Annual Conference 

savethedate2016NASBLA has issued a call for proposals for the 57th NASBLA Annual Conference. We are seeking input on topic ideas and presentations for the event. The deadline for session proposals is May 15.

We encourage presentations of all shapes and sizes; there’s no such thing as a crazy idea! We’re looking for content in all areas of recreational boating safety to help our knowledgeable and experienced audience explore new ways to tackle issues.

The conference will be held Sept. 11-14, in Seattle, Washington. For more information or to submit a proposal for a session, visit our call for proposals web page.

NASBLA offers brand-new refresher course

NASBLATOC_062013-(35), through its Boat Operations and Training Program, now offers a Tactical Operators Refresher Course. This three-day course is for students who have been through the five-day Tactical Operators Course. The refresher course is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills that students have already been trained in, acknowledging that the tactics and techniques necessary to react appropriately to threats in the maritime community are perishable if not practiced or executed on an annual basis.


Reminder: Register your agency for Spring Aboard campaign

SpringAboard_2016This year’s Spring Aboard campaign takes place April 17-23. Through this campaign, NASBLA encourages boaters to Spring Aboard by enrolling in a boating education course. Developed by NASBLA and funded under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, this annual campaign is open to participation by all states, territories, boating education organizations, instructors, and course providers regardless of whether your state’s boater education course is mandated or voluntary. Register today! Be sure to follow Spring Aboard on Facebook.

NASBLA hosts work sessions

In mid-February, NASBLA’s Executive Board met for two days at NASBLA headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. NASBLA_Logo_colorTopics of discussion ranged from partnerships, leadership development, and budget to committee reports and project and program updates.

On Feb. 17-18, the association also held its BLA Workshop in Lexington. This annual two-day meeting provides boating authorities an opportunity to attend sessions on current and emerging issues affecting boating program management and engage in open dialog with their peers on topics specific to the BLA and leadership positions.

In conjunction with this year’s workshop, NASBLA’s  Enforcement & Training and Engineering, Reporting & Analysis committees; the Northern Caucus; and the Southern Caucus also held their spring meetings.

NASBLA staffer raises funds in memory of her brother – a 9/11 victim
ed earhart
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. That date is emotional for all Americans, but it really hits home for one of our NASBLA family members. NASBLA Office Manager Andrea Stauter lost her younger brother Edward that day.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Edward Thomas Earhart, 26, was on duty as a weatherman at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77, hijacked by terrorists, crashed into the building on Sept. 11, instantly killing Edward along with hundreds of other victims. Andrea misses her brother every day, but the days leading up to each anniversary of 9/11 are particularly poignant. She often speaks with the media, helping people remember the patriot Edward was. This year, for this milestone anniversary of the terrorist attacks, Andrea is raising money for a scholarship named in memory of her brother, the Jackson Weather Officer AG1 Edward T. Earhart Memorial Scholarship.

“We (my family and I) have a goal of raising $5,000 for my brother’s scholarship fund this year. If I raise more than $5,000 that money will be donated to The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial for education exhibits they hope to build in the future,” says Andrea.

To help Andrea reach her goal, please consider making a donation at

NASBLA awards safe boating seal to WSIA for inflatables safety video
Given the continued popularity of towed watersports, the Water Sports Industry Association developed a video focused on inflatables safety. While reviewing water safety and etiquette, the tutorial encourages boaters to employ common sense and good judgment when enjoying a safe and fun day on the water. 

NASBLA recently awarded the WSIA’s inflatables safety video with the Seal of Safe Boating Practices. The Seal of Safe Boating Practices recognizes boating media that adhere to the highest standards in quality boating safety information. This seal provides a way for NASBLA to provide recognition to boating safety publications, pamphlets, videos and other media not eligible for NASBLA approval as a boating course but still considered beneficial to boating safety.