New England News Releases

City of New Haven seeks USACE permit for proposed work in waters of New Haven Harbor
2/27/2024
 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District received a permit application to conduct work in waters of the United States from the City of New Haven Engineering Department for proposed work...
USACE seeks comments on proposed work in Prospect Reservoir in Prospect, Connecticut
2/27/2024
 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District received a permit application to conduct work in waters of the United States from the South-Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority for...
Town of Temple seeks permit for proposed work in Henry Mitchell Brook off Mitchell Brook Road in Maine
2/15/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District received a permit application to conduct work in waters of the United States from the Town of Temple for proposed work in Henry Mitchell Brook...

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

Army promotes Nashville District deputy commander to lieutenant colonel
2/5/2024
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 5, 2024) – The U.S. Army promoted Nashville District’s deputy commander, Maj. Todd A. Mainwaring, to the rank of lieutenant colonel Feb. 2, 2024, with Corps of Engineers...
ERDC’s Wittrock named CERL Research Assistant of the Year
1/8/2024
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) named Joseph Wittrock the lab’s 2023 Research Assistant of the Year...
USACE expands DoDEA mission, prepares to outfit more than 170 pre-k classrooms worldwide
2/22/2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District recently partnered with the Department of Defense Education Activity to provide furniture and curriculum for DoDEA’s early childhood education...

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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