AKRON, OH – Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft chief Pamela Dillon will present the West Branch State Park staff with a Region 1 Award of Merit on behalf of the National Water Safety Congress in recognition of promoting boating safety.
The award was first announced during the International Boating and Water Safety Summit held March 6-9 in Savannah, Georgia. Each year the National Water Safety Congress presents awards at the annual International Boating and Water Safety Summit to selected individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to water safety during the previous year. These regional awards are selected from nominees that the Regional Vice President believes made a significant contribution or an outstanding effort to enhance and promote water safety at the local or state level.
State park staff at West Branch were nominated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) which worked in partnership with ODNR to promote boating safety to nearly 5,000 recreational boaters last year. USACE ranger Julie R. Stone said 2010 was the first year that water safety outreach was emphasized and fully engaged at West Branch Reservoir which resulted in no reportable boating-related fatalities. The 2,650-acre lake in Portage County permits operation of powerboats with unlimited horsepower and is patrolled by USACE and Division of Watercraft officers.
“The award recognizes the outstanding effort and significant contribution that was made through a partnership effort to promote local boating safety awareness at West Branch Reservoir,” said Pamela Dillon, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft.
Dillon will present the award during a brief ceremony to be held Friday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. at the boat launch ramp located at West Branch State Park, 5708 Esworthy Road near Ravenna.
The National Water Safety Congress is dedicated to promoting safe use of both private and public water resources in the United States. For more information, go to www.watersafetycongress.org
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com
For more information, contact:
Rich Lowery, ODNR Division of Watercraft
330. 644. 2265
Julie R. Stone, U.S.Army Corps of Engineers
330. 358. 2622
Heidi Hetzel-Evans, ODNR Media Relations
614. 265. 6860