Press Release

August 18, 2022

Grant provides funding for marine patrol vessels across Washington

Grant provides funding for marine patrol vessels across Washington

OLYMPIA – August 18, 2022 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Boating Program has announced funding recipients to receive just over $554,000 in federal grant dollars to improve patrol capacity on Washington waterways.

The following entities will receive funding to replace their primary patrol vessel through the Marine Law Enforcement Patrol Vessel Replacement Grant Program:

Clallam County - $125,326

Franklin County - $36,552

King County - $150,000

Kittitas County - $92,169

San Juan County - $150,000

The Program offers a competitive grant that provides funding for agencies to purchase a primary patrol vessel replacement to support the Washington State Parks and United States Coast Guard mission of recreational boating safety. A key part of that mission is marine law enforcement. Each agency is required to provide a 25% match for the vessel replacement – in total, funded agencies contributed nearly $150,000.

As responsible stewards of public funds, the grant award committee aims to create long-term impact in communities. Marine Law Enforcement agencies in these counties patrol major waterways with thousands of boaters every day in the peak season. Vessels funded through the grant have a useful life of 30-40 years and withstand constant use.

Despite popular belief, most of what Marine Law Enforcement units do on the water isn't just writing tickets; it's providing education. In waters with a wide range of recreational boaters, safety stops are critical in making sure rules are known and followed.

According to program specialist, Matt Stowers, “Patrol vessels are critical to providing outreach and safety education to the boating public – they teach boating safety practices.”

Different counties face their own set of waterway patrol challenges that this grant will help solve. In Clallam County several of the county's lakes have been unpatrolled because their boat was unfit to patrol them due to its age. Franklin County has shallow waterways, which require a shallow-hulled vessel to traverse. Funding from this grant allows counties purchase vessels to meet their specific needs and expand safety patrols to ensure adequate coverage across the jurisdiction.

For all five of the funded communities, the boating safety impacts will last for decades.

In addition to funding patrol vessels, the Washington State Parks Boating Program oversees the training and accreditation of marine law enforcement agencies annually, hosting training programs and conferences throughout the year.

News media contact:
Ashley Seydel, Communications Consultant, Boating Program (360) 790-5317

About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Park Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.