Updated Wed, Apr 4, 2012 1:11 pm
Four Southeast Ohio counties will receive grant money intended to keep waterways safe this boating season.
Twenty-four communities total in Ohio will receive more than $555,000.
Sheriff's departments in Pickaway, Ross, and Scioto counties are slated to get the money from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Watercraft for marine patrol units.
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District in Tuscarawas County was also awarded grant funds.
The grants will help local law enforcement agencies provide emergency response to boating-related incidents, conduct routine waterway patrols and purchase safety equipment for use on marine patrol vessels.
Sergeant James Brown, of the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office, says it will beneficial to their patrol and educational approach.
"We use it as an educational experience to educate older boaters and younger boaters about safety things, some things that boaters take for granted that we could possibly teach them," said Brown.
In addition to patrolling the waters, Brown says they have to take the safety of a nearby beach into consideration.
"With our particular lake, the Deer Creek Lake, it's unleaded horse power, so we have many different boats. We even have a public beach that doesn't have lifeguards so we have to spend a lot of time at that beach to make sure that people don't swim out into the lake and get hit by a boat that may be going pretty fast," said Brown.
The funding comes from the state's Waterways Safety Fund.
The Pickaway Sheriff's Office will receive $3,518; the Ross County Sheriff's Marine Patrol will receive $20,106.38; The Scioto County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol will receive $19,882.98; The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District will receive $32,000.