Story and photos by Bryanna R. Poulin
Little Rock District, USACE Public Affairs Office
Summer is here and with more than 400 lakes and river projects throughout the United States, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the leading provider in outdoor recreation and water related activities.
To kick off the start of summer June 8, members of the Little Rock District, USACE water safety team along with Bobber the Water Safety Dog headed to Dickey-Stephens park home to the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas Baseball League, sharing the importance of water safety to the public.
“It is part of the Corps mission to promote and educate the public on the importance of water safety,” Jeremy E. Wells, natural resource specialist, Little Rock District USACE said.
To promote the event, Wells along with other park rangers parked the Corps Water Safety Trailer and stood by the entrance giving away toys, cups and beach balls all bearing the Corps logo to people attending the Thursday night game.
“An event such as this offers a great opportunity to encourage water safety to a large group of people all at one time,” Wells explained. “It’s important to get the water safety message out to the public because it can help save lives if they know to wear a life jacket.”
Most water fatalities result in people not wearing their life jacket and the game was the perfect opportunity to remind the public to wear life jackets while on or near water.
“We are always promoting the importance of wearing a life jacket because life jackets save lives,” he said.
Since there are many ways to have an accident on the water, the Corps program also promotes other safety measures.
“Our program also strives to identify life threatening concerns associated with water based recreation and increase public awareness of safe practices through interaction with our park rangers and educational media,” Wells said.
In addition to sharing water safety messages the event also builds and foster relationships between the Corps and the public.
“This is a great opportunity to interact with the local community and share the importance of water safety but it also allows an opportunity to visit with individuals one-on-one, whether it’s answering questions, addressing customer concerns, sharing information regarding recreational opportunities on USACE lakes or informing the public of the many other USACE missions in their community,” Wells concluded. “Additionally, the interaction helps improve the Corps relationship because it gives members of the public a greater understanding of who we are and what we do each and every day to make a difference in their lives.”