New England News Releases

USACE to hold public meetings to share details of Connecticut River hydrilla project
5/28/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announced today it will be conducting a research and demonstration project to better understand and control the invasive aquatic plant hydrilla...
Hop Brook Lake in Middlebury closes swimming area following excessive rainfall
5/24/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announced today that the swimming area at Hop Brook Lake in Middlebury, Conn., will be closed until further notice.The closure is a precautionary...
USACE reminds visitors to practice water safety
5/10/2024
As millions of Americans plan visits to our nation’s lakes and rivers, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District reminds visitors of the importance of practicing safe, sensible, and...

Top Rotator

Local bird watchers descended upon West Hill Dam armed with pen, paper and a few binoculars to participate in West Hill Dam’s annual Backyard Bird Count.
Construction of the System Management Engineering Facility (SMEF), the 40,000 square foot, 2-story addition, is well underway and progressing rapidly.
For vessels wanting to enter Plymouth waters, dredging to remove shoals from the Plymouth Harbor federal navigation project in Massachusetts is currently underway and on schedule.

News From Around the Corps

Safety emphases leads into June's National Safety Month
5/20/2024
The course focused on four main components of safety hazards: electrical, falls, struck by, caught in-between. Instructors reviewed OSHA regulations, proper personal protection and lifesaving...
Mobile District and partners team up to coordinate projects
4/25/2024
Working together to get things done is a hallmark of success of any partnership endeavor, and it is precisely what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District is doing with its partners on...
USACE Chief of Engineers signs Ponte Vedra Beach CSRM Chief’s Report
4/26/2024 UPDATED
JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, signed the Chief’s Report April 18, 2024, for the Ponte Vedra Beach...

Feature Stories

Emphasis on Water Safety at Federal Recreation Areas this Summer

Published May 30, 2013
Bobber the Water Safety Dog makes an appearance at the annual Cape Cod Canal Water Safety Day in May.

Bobber the Water Safety Dog makes an appearance at the annual Cape Cod Canal Water Safety Day in May.

With warmer weather more people will be recreating near or in the water through the summer months. Now is the time to start thinking about water safety. Each year, an average of 3,880 people drown in the United States. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children aged 1 - 4. Yet, it is possible – just by wearing a life jacket or taking other precautions – to reduce drowning deaths.

National Safe Boating Week was May 18-24, 2013. Water safety officials urge everyone to learn more about safe boating practices and always engage in responsible conduct while on the water. America’s rivers, lakes and oceans are excellent places for boaters to gather with family and friends while enjoying the outdoors. As they do so, it is important that individuals avoid risky behavior that can lead to boating accidents. Factors such as careless and reckless operation, inattention and excessive speed contribute to accidents.

By practicing responsible boating habits, people can help contribute to a safer, more enjoyable experience on the water. Here are some safety tips from the Corps of Engineers to help recreation seekers stay safe in the water at federal recreation areas through the summer months.

Watch your children

It only takes a child an average of 20 seconds to drown, according to water safety officials. Watch your children at all times when around the water. Don’t let them wander very far from the adults and never let them go into the water unless you know it.

Alcohol and water activities don’t mix

Alcohol is a leading contributing factor to fatal boating accidents, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Just one beer can impair balance, vision, judgment and reaction time. Research shows that about four hours of boating – with exposure to noise, vibration, sun, glare and wind – produces fatigue that simulates drunkenness. Boating fatigue combined with alcohol consumption intensifies the effects of both and increases accident risks.

Boaters should know the rules

Boaters should take appropriate safety classes, be familiar with governing state laws and have proper safety equipment onboard. Many states require boater education or boat operator licenses. As an added incentive, many insurance companies offer discounts to boaters who have successfully completed a boating safety course. While boating make sure you wear a life jacket. Don’t just carry one on board.  Make sure it is U.S. Coast Guard-approved and appropriately sized. Most states require children under the age of 13 to wear life jackets. Know your state law! 

Don’t overload the boat (consider boat size, number of passengers and extra equipment before loading). Check your boat for all required safety equipment. Carry a set of navigational charts. Check the weather forecast. File a boat plan with family or friends who are not on the vessel so in case something does happen or you are late returning someone will know your approximate whereabouts.

Learn to swim/know your limits

Surprisingly, about two-thirds of those who drown never had the intention of being in the water. Never dive head first into lakes and rivers – the results can be tragic. Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat.

Don’t take chances by over-estimating your swimming skills or give in to peer pressure. Reach or throw a floatation device to help someone in trouble. Don’t go in the water! Swim only in designated swimming areas. Use the buddy system and never swim alone. About half of all drowning victims are alone when they drown. It’s smart to take swimming lessons and learn to swim.

Water safety must be a top priority for everyone using the nation’s waterways and lakes this holiday weekend and through the summer. An estimated 360 million people visit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas nationwide annually (http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/). Make your visit to any recreation area a safe and enjoyable one. Taking water safety precautions saves lives – maybe even your own.    

Federal recreation areas in New England

There are many opportunities to enjoy recreation at federal reservoirs and the Cape Cod Canal in New England this Memorial Day weekend and through the summer. Most areas feature small lakes with facilities designed for day use such as picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing and hunting. A few facilities have overnight camping. For details visit the District web site at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/ and select “recreation” and then your state and nearest location on the map.

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