Big Thicket National Preserve Participates in Operation Dry Water
KOUNTZE, Texas – During the weekend of June 30 thru July 2, 2017 Visitor and Resource Protection (VRP) staff at Big Thicket National Preserve will be partnering with the US Coast Guard out of Station Sabine Pass, to engage in Operation Dry Water (ODW), a nationwide law enforcement effort that targets boating under the influence awareness and enforcement. The mission of ODW is to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.
Since 2012, National Park Service Law Enforcement Officers have been working side-by-side with numerous agencies associated with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, specifically US Coast Guard to contact boaters in the preserve’s Beaumont Unit. This extreme south unit of the preserve provides abundant recreational boating and fishing options in a complex water system including the Neches River, Pine Island Bayous, and Cooks Lake.
“We are proud to be a part of this type of preventative enforcement.” stated Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz. “The valuable partnership we have foster with the US Coast Guard Station Sabine Pass allows us to better serve our local Southeast Texas communities.”
Since the nationwide launch of Operation Dry Water, the number of boating fatalities with alcohol named as a contributing factor has decreased from 19 percent to 16 percent in the United States. However, alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States. More information about ODW is available atwww.operationdrywater.org .