LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District teamed up with Bass Pro Shops in Southern California to hand out materials emphasizing water and boating safety during the outdoor recreation retailer's "Family Summer Camp” campaign that ran from June 8 to July 14.
The effort stemmed from the Corps and Bass Pro Shops signing a partnership agreement in late 2012 to develop projects nationally to improve fish habitat and water and boater safety education.
Phyllis Trabold, District outdoor recreation planner, arranged for the delivery of 700 “Bobber” water safety give-away items to the store in Rancho Cucamonga. Bobber, the Corps’ water safety mascot, is a large brown dog who is always seen wearing a bright orange life vest.
“I wanted to make sure the items were in the store before the July fourth holiday, so they had the potential of reaching more people, especially boaters headed to the Colorado River,” Trabold said. “Although many of the District’s basins are dry, we are still concerned about water safety at our basins that offer boating.”
Trabold added that the project was an excellent opportunity for interacting with and educating people in San Bernardino County who may know little or nothing about the Corps’ missions in Southern California, as well as providing a positive reinforcement for children about water safety and wearing life jackets.
The partnership agreement’s priority projects for 2013 include: develop and provide water safety and recreation activities, educational items, and messages for use in all 56 Bass Pro shops stores during their Summer Fun Camps, Great Outdoor Days, and other in-store programs for 2013; include water safety messages in the DVDs that go to every new boat owner in all the Bass Pro Shops boat lines; work together to support the National Fish Habitat; and, work together on events such as the CAST for Kids Fishing and Take a Warrior Fishing, with Bass Pro providing sponsorship.
The agreement, called a Memorandum of Understanding, was signed by John Morris, owner and founder of Bass Pro Shops; Maj. Gen. John W. Peabody, commander, Mississippi Valley Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Kula, commander, Southwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Col. Anthony C. Funkhouser, commander, Northwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Corps parks and lakes serve more than 370 million visitors every year. With Bass Pro Shops serving more than 75 million customers a year, many of whom recreate on Corps lakes, this partnership provides a great opportunity for a line of communication to the public,” Kula said. “These statistics not only show the great recreation value that the Army Corps of Engineers brings to the nation, but also the challenges that we face as one of the nation’s largest providers of recreation.”