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From the Boating Division

The mission of the Boating Division is to provide services and information to serve as a one-stop shop for the boating public and other internal and external constituents, so that boaters can be safe, responsible, and have fun while meeting all the legal requirements while boating in Virginia. This is done by conserving and managing boating and waterway resources for the benefit of present and future generations; connecting people to Virginia’s outdoors through boat titling and registration, boating access, boating safety education, and boating resources; and by protecting people and property through promoting safe outdoor experiences on the water, managing the regulatory process regarding safety, and helping with waterways conflicts.

Over the past year, the customer service section handled over 100,000 transactions and over 100,000 constituent calls. While 60% of their work is around boating, they also help constituents purchase hunting and fishing licenses and any other license, permit, or merchandise the agency offers. In the boating safety section, over 20,000 students took a boating safety course in 2023. While the law enforcement division is responsible for investigating boating incidents, the boating safety section compiles incident data into reports required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Last year there was a record low number of incidents and fatalities on Virginia’s waters. This is great news! The waterways section has been busy trying to develop processes and procedures for centralizing the over 3,000 regulatory waterway markers that can be found across the Commonwealth.

We have a couple of big projects that we are working on. The 2023 Boating Incident report has been drafted and is now available on the agency’s website. This report outlines where boat incidents happened and the primary type of boating incident and the primary cause of boat incidents. This helps to inform law enforcement and the boating safety program to help direct patrols and safety outreach campaigns. Another project is a cost-savings and paper reduction measure including an online dockside safety checklist and e-mailed boat registration renewals. Both initiatives are currently in development with the assistance of the Planning and Finance Division.  The division is also currently in the middle of the Aquatic and Boating Regulations cycle and presented some staff recommendations for regulation updates and additions during the May board meeting.

Finally, there have been some personnel changes in our division. If you have any questions related to customer service, please direct those to Cynthia Morgan. Questions regarding boating safety and education or boating outreach events should be directed to Mindy TuckerJim Patrillo is the division’s Waterways Manager who can assist with regulatory markers and waterway conflicts. Should you have any boating statute or regulation questions (either state or federal) or just want to share any potential “issues” you might see on the water, feel free to reach out to Boating Division Director Stacey Brown.

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  • July 1, 2024