District stresses water safety; flexes lock operations for recreational boaters

Published May 18, 2015

GALVESTON, Texas (May 18, 2015) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District is gearing up for a busy Memorial Day holiday along the Texas coast by stressing water safety awareness to all those who will enjoy outdoor activities this extended weekend. The arrival of the Memorial Day holiday weekend will bring an increased level of outdoor activities throughout Texas, especially with outdoor recreation involving water activities at public beaches, in swimming pools, while boating and engaging in other aquatic-related activities.

To accommodate the increased recreational boating traffic during the holiday weekend, the district will open the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates May 22 at 6 p.m. and will return back to normal operations May 25 at 6 p.m. (which currently limit swing gates to open every hour on the hour).

According to Simon DeSoto, USACE Galveston District’s Colorado River Locks lockmaster, the Corps realizes the important role that education plays in saving lives and requests the public to wear life jackets and read warning signs when recreating on the water this busy weekend.

“It is crucial that we educate the public about water safety, as drowning is the number two fatality in the U.S. for children 13 and younger,” said DeSoto. “We understand the important role that education plays in saving lives and we’re working with our partners to extend our drowning prevention knowledge, skills, expertise and services to promote education and prevent downing.”

DeSoto encourages visitors to check local water and weather conditions and pay attention to recreation warnings such as river closures from local emergency services offices prior to entering the water. Additionally, he stresses wearing a life jacket to save lives.

USACE is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor recreation on all federally-managed public lands in the nation. The USACE Galveston District has a long history of leading the way in safety initiatives for the protection of life and property and is available to assist in water safety educational engagements by calling district’s Water Safety Program Manager Kristine Brown at 281-497-0740 or emailing Kristine.N.Brown@usace.army.mil.

To learn more about the USACE Galveston District’s Water Safety Campaign, visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Missions/CorpsintheClassroom/WaterSafetyProgram.aspx. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.

Release no. 15-027