Sheriff#039;s Office receives money for marine activities

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Spring may not be here yet, but the county sheriff's office is gearing up to focus on teaching boater safety.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded the sheriff's office a $10,050 grant to continue its boater education program. The sheriff's office must provide a local match of $2,512.

"A lot of times, boater recreation is mixed with alcohol," Sheriff Tim Sexton said. "These classes make people more aware and more educated that, just like driving a car on land, there are laws that must be followed on the water.

Email newsletter signup

"It makes people think a little before some tragedy could happen."

The boater education classes will be offered at various dates and locations throughout the county starting this spring. The dates are still being finalized, Sexton said.

ODNR awarded a record $364,994 in grants to 29 organizations across the state. The ODNR Division of Watercraft administers the grants each year to assist local boating organizations in increasing boating education and help younger boaters meet Ohio's mandatory law requiring anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1982 to successfully complete the Ohio Boater Education Course or another approved course.

Grant funding for boater education is provided through the state's Waterways Safety Fund, which is supported by a portion of the state gasoline tax, watercraft registration and titling fees, and funding from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Lawrence County's boater education programs were honored by the state for its achievements in education in 2003, Sexton said. He said he is also hoping to receive approximately $16,000 again this year for the Marine Patrol program that

puts officers on the Ohio River and other waterways during weekends and holidays.

"We just try to make boating a little safer," Sheriff Sexton said. "It helps make these areas a little safer and gives a little more of a police presence on these waterways."