Boating Weather Here

Corps of Engineers Promoting Water Safety

Morgantown Dominion Post
7 June 2012

As the days get warmer, more people are taking to the rivers and lakes to enjoy life on the water.

In West Virginia, the Division of Natural Resources Police patrol the popular boating places, such as Cheat Lake and the Monongahela River.

Anyone 25 years old or younger who wants to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft in the Mountain State, needs to have completed a boating safety education course.

This year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is promoting water safety for those who use the river pools created by the navigational locks under the theme “Think Five, Stay Alive.”

The campaign, a condensation of the extensive advice available on the U.S. Coast Guard boating safety website, reminds those in boats to: Wear a vest, don’t drink and boat, keep children in clear view at all times and watch out for others, know your physical limitations, and review boating safety steps before heading out.

This year, waters under Army Corps control are more accessible to the military. Headquarters announced in May that the agency is accepting the America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Pass program’s new Interagency Annual Pass for Military.

“The pass is good at any Corps facility nationwide where the Corps charges day use fees,” said Bob John, with the Natural Resources Management Branch, Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District.

For Morgantown area residents, this means Youghiogheny River Lake. Tygart Lake and Stonewall Jackson Lake are in parks operated by West Virginia; the Corps charges no day use fees there.

America the Beautiful passes — including the military pass — can be picked up at Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, Pa., or any of the offices at the Monongahela National Forest.

John said the Corps has another program that provides camping discounts for active military home on R&R. For that, he said, the soldier must show an active military card and leave papers.

Info about boating in West Virginia and online boating classes: ing.shtm.

Coast Guard boating safety info: USCG boat