Innovations Award

Innovations Award
Sponsored by Boat Ed

NASBLA is excited to announce a broader application of the Innovations Initiative, which began in 2008 with the support of NASBLA Mission Partner Boat Ed.

The Innovations initiative was established to bring greater visibility to exemplary state, corporate or public-private partnership programs and to encourage the sharing of these initiatives with other agencies and recreational boating safety stakeholders.


Dan Shipman (center) accept the Innovations Award from Jason Alexander and Cindy Kalkomey of Boat Ed. The award, sponsored by Kalkomey Inc., parent company of Boat Ed, was presented at the Annual NASBLA Conference.

2013 Innovations Award
Commander Dan Shipman, USCG

Commander Dan Shipman, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist for the 13th Coast Guard District received the Innovations Award on Sept. 17 at the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ conference.

Shipman received the award for developing a Coastal Bar Warning and Information System in all coastal harbors on the Oregon and Washington coast. The system was implemented to provide boaters with real-time access to information regarding Coastal Bar conditions.

In the past, communicating conditions and travel restrictions was problematic because boaters weren’t made aware of the rapidly changing conditions. This lack of communication caused boaters to put themselves in hazardous situations, resulting in significant loss of life. Now, Shipman’s warning and information system uses computers, smart phones and low-power AM radio technology to broadcast safety information in nearly real time.  

Since the system was implemented, the number of phone and VHF radio calls has decreased by about 30 percent. The number of calls is expected to further decrease as use of the system becomes more widespread.

The Innovations Award is presented annually to the program or initiative that demonstrates the highest level of innovation leading to advances in boating safety. States or other government agencies, corporations or public-private partnerships can submit their program or innovation by submitting an award nomination form.   

Criteria for Consideration

  • Newly Launched - The program or initiative must be between 9 months and 3 years old at the time of submission.
  • Creativity - Does the program or initiative represent a new and creative approach to problems or issues in the recreational boating safety (RBS) community?
  • Effectiveness - Has the program or initiative been effective in achieving its goals, objectives and purposes to this point?
  • Transferability - Could the program or initiative be easily transferred to other states or marine safety and enforcement organizations?
  • Significance - Does the program or initiative address significant RBS issues or problems?                                   

Winners of the Innovations Award:

  • Are recognized in front of their peers at the Awards Ceremony during the NASBLA Annual Conference, in Small Craft Advisory magazine, on the NASBLA website and through a nationally distributed press release.
  • Receive a great opportunity to showcase agency or company accomplishments.
  • Have a great opportunity to share effective innovations with partners from across the country.

Innovations Award Application

Submissions are due by August 1, 2014.