News from the DNR Office of Communications

NRP To Participate In Operation Dry Water

Annapolis, Md. (June 21, 2010) – From June 25 through June 27, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) will participate in Operation Dry Water, a nationally-coordinated program to raise awareness about the dangerous use of alcohol in a boating environment. During this weekend, detection and enforcement of boating under the influence will be a nation-wide priority.

“Our main focus with Operation Dry Water is to prevent accidents and fatalities while making our waterways safer and more enjoyable for all boaters,” said NRP Colonel George F. Johnson IV.

Operation Dry Water is organized by the National Association of State Boating Law Enforcement Administrators. The NRP, the United States Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies will utilize increased personnel to patrol during the weekend. Officers will be targeting high-accident areas and areas where boating and alcohol have been a problem in the past, but patrols will take place in every part of the state.

Nationwide, 21 percent of boating fatalities result from alcohol use. In Maryland, alcohol and illegal drug use were a contributing factor in 8 of 16 fatal boating accidents and 204 alcohol-related charges were placed against boaters in 2009. The maximum penalty for operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol is a $1000 fine and a year in jail for the first offense.

NRP would like to remind citizens that the sun, wind and water can cause fatigue in boaters. Alcohol use magnifies this fatigue, impairs judgment and can lead to accidents and death. NRP reminds boaters to boat safe, boat smart and boat sober!

NRP would like to invite media personnel on ride-alongs. Interested reporters should contact Sgt. Art Windemuth at 410-713-8449 by June 22.


  June 21, 2010

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8850 office | 410-713-8449 cell
awindemuth@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov