ODNR Funds Available for Local Boating Safety Education Programs

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is accepting applications for the 2016 Boating Safety Education Grant Program to help support community boating safety education programs in Ohio.

By providing annual funding assistance through competitive grant programs the ODNR Division of Watercraft is able to provide boating safety education programs all across Ohio. A deadline of Oct. 1 is set for submitting applications to receive funding through the Boating Safety Education Grant Program. More than $360,000 is expected to be awarded for local community boating safety education programs in 2016. Grants carry a minimum local cost share of 25 percent of total program costs. Eligible applicants include political subdivisions at all levels, conservancy districts, state-supported school systems, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons and 501 C-3 certified nonprofit organizations.

The Division of Watercraft is also holding a special information workshop on Aug. 27 for organizations planning to submit a 2016 Boating Safety Education Grant Program application. The workshop will be held at ODNR’s Central Office, 2045 Morse Road, Building E-1 in Columbus. To register, contact Craig Watson at 614-265-6674 or craig.watson@dnr.state.oh.us.

Individual grants provided through the ODNR Division of Watercraft’s Boating Safety Education Grant Program are funded by Ohio’s recreational boaters through the Waterways Safety Fund. The fund is comprised of a share of the state motor fuel tax, watercraft registration and titling fees and funding from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ohio law requires any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, to be able to show proof they have successfully completed an approved boating safety education course if they are to operate any powered watercraft greater than 10 horsepower. Many of the funded programs also focus on boating skills development and basic water safety.

The Division of Watercraft is responsible for boating safety, education and law enforcement on all waters of the state. This statewide area includes the nearshore area along 451 miles of the Ohio River, approximately half the entire surface area of Lake Erie, more than 605 inland lakes and more than 60,000 miles of inland streams, rivers and other waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.