Twenty-three Ohio communities will receive a total of $578,578.12 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to support local marine patrol units. Provided by the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft, these assistance funds represent a continuing effort to keep Ohio waterways safe and enhance recreational boating experiences.

“We always want outdoor recreation to be safe,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Marine patrol grants give us an opportunity to reinvest boater dollars in Ohio communities to help ensure safe enjoyable recreation statewide.”

The 2021 Marine Patrol Assistance grants will help local law enforcement agencies provide emergency response to boating-related incidents, conduct routine waterway patrols and purchase safety equipment for use on marine patrol vessels.

“On behalf of our members, the Lake Erie Marine Trade Association applauds ODNR’s efforts to provide critical grant funding which supports Ohio boaters by strengthening our local and county marine patrols,” said Michelle Burke, president, Lake Erie Marine Trade Association. “Spending the day on Lake Erie or one of Ohio’s inland lakes will now be a safer experience for all Ohioans.”

Geographically, this year’s grant recipients include the Lake Erie and Ohio River regions as well as in counties with multiple inland lakes. A complete list of recipients by county follows.

• Butler County: Butler County Sheriff's Office, $26,250;

• Cuyahoga County: Rocky River Police Department, $30,000;

• Erie County: Huron Police Department, $30,031.87; Vermilion Police Department, $34,990.73;

• Franklin County: Columbus Division of Police, $32,941.18;

• Hamilton County: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, $25,220.59;

• Knox County: Knox County Sheriff's Office, $22,647.06;

• Lake County: Lake County Sheriff's Office, $34,987.97;

• Lawrence County: Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, $13,639.71;

• Lorain County: Lorain Port Authority, $35,000;

• Mahoning County: Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, $27,665.44;

• Montgomery County: Five Rivers MetroParks, $13,353.49;

• Ottawa County: Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, $21,744.67; Port Clinton Harbor Patrol, $22,061.77;

• Pickaway County: Pickaway County Sheriff's Office, $13,518;

• Portage County: Portage County Sheriff's Office, $22,710;

• Ross County: Ross County Sheriff's Office, $23,933.82;

• Sandusky County: Sandusky County Sheriff's Office, $26,249.70;

• Scioto County: Scioto County Sheriff's Office, $18,272.06;

• Shelby County: Shelby County Sheriff's Office, $8,346.10;

• Summit County: Summit County Sheriff's Office, $34,322.65;

• Trumbull County: Trumbull County Sheriff's Office, $25,691.31;

• Tuscarawas County: Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, $35,000.

In 2020, Ohioans registered more than 593,685 watercraft, a growth of over 51,000 in the last three years. Over the last decade, there has been a 196 percent increase in kayak and canoe registrations (including liveries). Overall, Ohio currently ranks sixth in the nation in state recreational boat registrations.
As the number of visitors to Ohio’s lakes and rivers increases, Marine Patrol Assistance Grants are vital to ensuring the safety of Ohio’s boaters. Boating-related fatalities on Ohio waterways have declined by 15 percent since 2010. Additional boating information is available online at

The Division of Parks and Watercraft administers Ohio’s boating programs. The funding to support local marine patrol units comes from the state’s Waterways Safety Fund, which is comprised of the state motor fuel tax, watercraft registration and titling fees, as well as funds provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, protection and conservation of Ohio’s state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a wise balance between the use and protection of natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at