The Port Clinton Harbor Patrol and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department are among 24 agencies in 21 Ohio counties receiving a total of $579,654 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to support local marine patrol units. Provided by the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft, the funds help keep Ohio waterways safe and enhance recreational boating experiences.
“As boating in Ohio gains in popularity, the ODNR appreciates the help from local community partners to deliver critical services,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “These grants enable local law enforcement agencies to help protect boaters, canoers and kayakers and the lakes and streams they enjoy.”
With the 2023 Marine Patrol Assistance grants, local law enforcement agencies will provide emergency response to boating-related incidents, conduct routine waterway patrols and purchase safety equipment for use on marine patrol vessels.
This year’s grant recipients include the Port Clinton Harbor Patrol ($19,734) and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department ($20,251). The grants are earmarked for the Lake Erie and Ohio River regions as well as in counties with multiple inland lakes.
In Ohio, 653,136 boats were registered in 2022, an increase of more than 9,000 registrations from the previous year. Ohio’s paddle sports were also an area of growth among water sports lovers. Last year, Ohioans registered 320,807 paddle craft, a three percent increase, or 10,804 registrations.
As the number of visitors to Ohio’s lakes and rivers increases, Marine Patrol Assistance Grants are vital to ensuring the safety of Ohio’s boaters. Essential boating safety information is available at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov.
The Division of Parks and Watercraft administers Ohio’s boating and scenic rivers programs. The funding to support local marine patrol units comes from the state’s Waterways Safety Fund, which is supported by the state motor fuel tax, watercraft registration and titling fees, and funds from the U.S. Coast Guard.