Rock Your Boat!

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Staying Afloat

Dear Safe Boater,

"Rock Your Boat" this summer by practicing 5 easy safety steps. 

  1. Wear a life jacket 
  2. Avoid alcohol
  3. Watch your kids
  4. Wear a engine cutoff switch 
  5. Learn to swim and take a Boater Education Course
4 people on a tube being towed behind a boat

With more Texans enjoying the water in 2021, we've seen upticks in the numbers of boating and water related accidents and injuries. Accidents on the water happen fast. As we enter boating season, we want you to "Rock Your Boat!"

These steps are critical in practicing boating safety and ignoring them can lead to unfortunate results. See true stories from people affected by boating or swimming-related accidents. 

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in 79% of recreational boating fatalities in 2019, and that 86% of those who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.

Take a Boater Education Course

Young paddlers learn safety skills

Anyone born on or after September 1, 1993 who wishes to operate certain vessels on the public waterways of Texas is required to take a Boater Education Couse.

Choose an Online Boater Education Course

Find a Boater Education Classroom Course

Pledge to Wear It!

Boating Law - Engine Cut-off Switch

Engine cutoff switch on a boat

Kali’s Law now requires Texas boat operators to wear an engine cutoff switch when operating a boat under 26 ft. in length that is equipped with the switch and is going greater than headway speed. As of April 1, 2021 a new federal law requires use of engine cutoff switches in all "Navigable Waters of the US".

More on this law and other boating regulations at

Teach your child to swim

Get Connected

Two ladies on stand up paddleboards

Stay up to date on boating and water safety news!

Follow and share our new Texas Parks and Wildlife boating and water safety Facebook and Instagram pages for safe boating tips and great views. 

Discover safe boating tips, paddle sport safety and places to boat!

Protect the Lakes You Love

You play an important role in protecting the lakes we love from invasive species. Invasive species like giant salvinia and zebra mussels can ruin fishing, boating, and swimming for everyone. There are still many Texas lakes without invasive species, but boaters can unknowingly transfer them upstream, to other river basins, or even to other states. What can you do to help? Even if you don't see anything on your boat, clean, drain, and dry it before traveling from lake to lake.

Clean, drain and dry video

If your boat has been stored in the water on a lake with zebra mussels, there's a good chance they've attached to your boat. Before moving your boat to another lake, it must be decontaminated. Call us at (512) 389-4848 for guidance. 

Stay Clear of Coastal Waterbird Rookeries

Coastal Rookery birds

If you're boating on the coast this time of year, you're likely to spot iconic coastal birds like brown pelicans, roseate spoonbills, black skimmers and reddish egrets nesting in dense colonies, called rookeries. Many of these birds are experiencing major population declines. 

While on the water, steer clear of the nesting areas – give at least 50 yards of space – to avoid disturbing the birds.

Boating regulations at your fingertips

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Boating and Water Safety Resources

Boater EducationBoating Access | Boating LawsNational Safe Boating Council | Water SafetyWatch Kids Around the Water | National Drowning Prevention Alliance | Invasive Species