Two girls in Kayaks wearing life jackets

Washington's Recreational Boating Safety Program

The Recreational Boating Safety Program provides leadership in boating safety education and water competency.

The goal of the program is to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of Washington waterways, and keep recreational boating a safe, accessible, and enjoyable pastime.

Funded through a federal grant by the United State Coast Guard, the Recreational Boating Safety program is responsible for meeting the State’s requirement for recreational boating safety and education.

The Recreational Boating Safety Program:

  • Administers the Mandatory Boater Education Program, which issues Washington State Boater Education cards to boaters after passing a boating safety course certifying their understanding of laws and emergency procedures.
  • Conducts educational campaigns to promote safe boating practices and behaviors.
  • Supports state-wide Life Jacket Loaner Stations to increase the use of life jackets on the water.
  • Administers funding and coordinates training to Washington’s local marine law enforcement units, so they are well-equipped to educate the public, enforce recreational boating laws, investigate accidents, and assist boaters in distress.
  • Manages the statewide recreational boating accident reporting system.
  • Coordinates with the Department of Licensing on boating registration, to ensure boats meet federal and state identification requirements.

The Clean Vessel Act Grant
Washington State Parks also administers the Clean Vessel Act Grant, providing funding to pumpout and dump out stations across the state to keep our waters clean.

Congress passed the Clean Vessel Act of 1992 to establish grant funding for the construction, renovation, operation, and maintenance of sewage disposal systems serving recreational boaters. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers the national CVA grant program through a competitive annual process among all states and territories. Funding comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, recreational boats and boat fuel. In Washington State, the State Parks Boating Program administers the CVA grant program.


Contact Us

Department Recreational Boating Safety Program
Phone 360-902-8555
Address 1111 Israel Rd SW Olympia , WA 98504