MEDIA ADVISORY: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, Visits Nationwide Childrens Hospital and Promotes Water Safety

February 14, 2012

On Wednesday, February 15 Rangers from the Scioto Area Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will visit Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio to teach visitors and patients of the hospital about water safety.

The Rangers will be accompanied by “Bobber,” the Water Safety Dog, and “Cory,” the Water Safety Tug Boat. They will be at Nationwide Children’s at 1:30 p.m.

Bob Cifranic from the Scioto Area Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be able to answer questions and grant interviews about the importance of water safety.

Where:
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Outpatient Care Center lobby
555 S. 18th St.
Columbus, OH 43205

When:
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
1:30 p.m.

Contacts:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Public Affairs, 304-399-5353

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Media Relations, 614-355-0495

Background:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the largest provider of water-based outdoor recreation in the nation.  Its 422 lake and river projects in 43 states provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities. Visitors of all ages can enjoy traditional activities like hiking, boating, fishing, camping and hunting, and for those slightly more adventurous there is snorkeling, windsurfing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking and geo-caching.  Regardless of your favorite outdoor activity one thing is certain, recreation enriches people's lives.  A visit to an Army Corps of Engineers' recreation area can strengthen family ties and friendships; create unforgettable memories and connect people to nature that will last a lifetime.

With more than 90 percent of our recreation areas located within 50 miles of a major metropolitan center, there is a Corps site near you. We invite you to visit us.

  • The Army Corps of Engineers hosts 370 million visits annually to its recreation areas.
  • Corps-managed waters provide 33 percent of all U.S. freshwater fishing.
  • 59,000 volunteers work 1.9 million hours annually at Corps projects-- providing $37.5 million in value of service.
  • Seven of the top 10 migratory bird flyways in the U.S. crossover Corps-managed waters.
  • The Corps manages 12 million acres of public lands and waters nationwide.
  • A visitor to Corps recreation areas can find 55,000 miles of shoreline; 4,500 miles of trails; 90,000 campsites and 3,400 boat launch ramps nationally.

Each of us have likely met someone who was surprised to find the Corps of Engineers involved in recreation, and even more surprised to learn that we do water safety educational outreach. A common reaction is "What does an engineering group have to do with saving the lives of boaters and swimmers?"

The history of the Corps' early involvement in water safety is not clearly documented, but the Corps participated in early relationships with other agencies concerned with water safety as far back as the early 1950's. Corps safety experts were among the founding fathers of the National Water Safety Congress more than 50 years ago, in Nashville, TN. Once park rangers were hired for lake and waterway project staffs, it is certain that they became key players in public safety and assistance initiatives. Larger divisions, were among the first to put together comprehensive plans to decrease public fatalities and accidents. It was during the mid-1970's when the Chief of Engineers noted that nearly 500 lives had been lost at Corps lakes and waterways in a single year.

Recognizing that more effort was needed to improve public safety in Corps areas, he issued the first official directive for the Corps to amplify their water safety educational efforts.
In 1986, the start of a centralized Corps National Water Safety Program began, when Operations became a proponent for a centralized program for product development. The product development oversight was given to HQ-IM, while program coordination was assigned to the Natural Resources Management Office. The intent of centralizing the program was to improve the professional quality of products and to assure that materials were made available unilaterally throughout the Corps.

In 1994, an agreement was negotiated with Walla Walla District, Northwestern Division, to establish a National Operation Center (NOC) for Water Safety; product development and program oversight responsibilities shifted to the NOC. This move was seen as an opportunity to maintain the centralized program while allowing for more grassroots level involvement. A product advisory committee was created to provide input into the program and improve field level involvement. The NOC manager chairs the committee, with membership comprised of NRM representatives from every Corps Division, as well as representatives from public affairs and safety offices.

For more information regarding recreational opportunities visit: http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/

Contact:
Public Affairs, 304-399-5353
PA@lrh01.usace.army.mil

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report ‘s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.