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It may still feel like winter, but spring is right around the corner and the Oregon State Marine Board encourages boaters and passengers to enroll in a boating education course before the kickoff of the boating season. During the week of March 19-25, as part of the Spring Aboard -- Take A Boating Education Course campaign, many course providers are offering discounts or other incentives for students who enroll or complete a boating safety education course.
The Oregon State Marine Board offers boaters three course options: classroom, internet or equivalency exam. Classroom instructors are certified by the Marine Board and teach a nationally-approved Boat Oregon classroom course. Internet courses are another option and the Marine Board offers three courses that can be accessed from their website. Internet courses are designed to have the boater read the material, take a chapter quiz, and if they pass, progress to the next chapter. After the chapter quizzes have been completed and passed, there is a final exam. The agency also offers a free paddlesports internet course for people new to this type of boating. Equivalency exams forego any instruction and are designed for more experienced boaters. Exams can be taken at the Marine Board office in Salem, or through your local county sheriff's office. Law enforcement deputies serve as proctors for the exam. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadron also offer excellent classroom and interactive online safety courses that are nationally approved and accepted by the Marine Board.
According to MariAnn McKenzie, Boating Education Coordinator for the Marine Board, "Educated boaters are safer on the water. If a boater has taken a safety course, they have a higher chance of having an enjoyable experience and so will their passengers." McKenzie added, "There are no lanes to follow on the water, so it is important to know what to do if a boat is coming at you head on or what sound signals are required to indicate your intentions. With changing environmental conditions and crowded areas, knowing how to safely interact with other boaters or water users is also key to having a good time out there. You never know what might happen, be prepared."
Forty-nine (49) states and U.S. territories require some form of mandatory education courses for operators of some powered boats . For more information about the Marine Board's available courses visit www.boatoregon.com.
The Oregon State Marine Board approved $232,021.68 in state boater funds for boating facility grants to finish out the 2015-2017 biennium during their special Board meeting, held on February 27, 2017, in Salem.
The following grant projects were approved:
* City of Coos Bay: Empire and Eastside Parking Repairs. The Board approved $29,600 in state boater funds, combined with $7,400 in applicant cash and $723 for in-kind administration and permits for a total project cost of $37,723.
* Coos County: Rooke Higgins and Rocky Point Vault Toilet replacements. The Board approved $38,000 in state boater funds to match $1,300 in applicant administration and permit costs, $10,100 in force account labor, materials and equipment for total project costs of $49,400.
* Port of Bandon: Port Parking Repairs. The Board approved $7,894.35 in state boater funds to match $2,631.45 in applicant cash for a total project cost of $10,525.80.
* Port of Coos Bay: Charleston Parking Repairs. The Board approved $27,431.25 in state boater funds to the Port's $9,143.75 for administration, labor, materials and cash for a total project cost of $36,575.
* Port of Arlington: Port Parking Repairs. The Board approved $31,441.87 in state boater funds, combined with $1,500 in applicant administration, $3,500 in labor and materials and $5,480.63 applicant cash for a project total of $41,922.50.
* Port of The Dalles: Port Parking Repairs and Restroom Door Replacement. The Board approved $18,447 in state boater funds, combined with $6,149 in applicant cash, $60 administration and $1,020 in labor and equipment for a project total of $25,676.
* South Wasco Parks and Recreation District: South Ramp Parking Repairs on Pine Hollow Reservoir. The Director approved $7,500 in state boater funds under the Small Grant Program to repair cracks, raveling and wear due to the unusually heavy snow and ice on top of pre-existing cracking. The areas will be crack sealed, seal coated and re-striped.
* Jackson County: Willow Lake, Klum Landing, Takelma, and Dodge Bridge Parking Repairs. The Board approved $38,250 in state boater funds combined with $11,750 in applicant cash with $1,202.22 in labor and equipment for a total project cost of
* Klamath County: Wocus Bay, Henzel and Petric Parking Repairs. The Director approved $10,000 in state boater funds to match $2,500 in administration, inspection and applicant cash for a project total of $12,500.
* Chinook Landing is a regionally significant public recreational boating access site with an estimated 45,000 launch/retrievals annually. Metro applied for, and was approved for a grant to apply surface treatment to the pavement and re-stripe to extend its useful life and maximize the boaters' investment. The grant would also replace all of the existing light cells with upgraded LED lights. Due to the facility hours of operations, providing adequate lighting is critical to boaters launching, retrieving or parking in low light conditions. The Board approved $30,957.21 in state boater funds, combined with $320 in applicant administration and $9,930 in applicant cash for a project total of $41,207.21.
To view the staff report with complete details for each grant, visit www.oregon.gov/OSMB/info/Documents/Board%20Meetings/FEB_2017_BOARD_BOOK.pdf.