Juneau Coast Guard Auxiliarist receives national recognition from boating safety organization

JUNEAU, Alaska – During its 50th annual meeting, held in Corpus Christi, Texas, Sept. 26-30, the National Association of State Boating Law Administration presented Michael Folkerts, recreational boating specialist from the Coast Guard Seventeenth District, with its esteemed President’s Award.

Folkerts is an active Coast Guard Auxiliary member in Juneau and has made significant contributions to boating safety throughout Alaska specifically being recognized for his impact on a number of Arctic coastal communities. At the end of his term, The NASBLA President selects individuals to honor with this special recognition for their contributions during the past year to boating safety and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

As part of Coast Guard Operation Arctic Crossroads, Folkerts coordinated a three-person recreational boating safety team that took critical boating safety messages to a number of Arctic coastal communities. Having learned that local hunters would not use life jackets because the bright colors scare away the whales they hunt, this RBS team was instrumental in the development of white float coats. These specially designed personal flotation devices were very well received by the whale hunters. The RBS team’s efforts are bringing boating safety to villages that might otherwise receive little benefit from the lessons learned in other parts of Alaska and the rest of the country.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, the organization affects the lives of over 83.6 million American boaters. To lean more about how NASBLA continues to make the waterways safe, secure and enjoyable, visit www. nasbla.org.

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