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Operation Dry Water Campaign

Today, the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee, announces its partnership with U.S. Coast Guard Station Chicago's efforts promoting "Operation Dry Water".  A nationwide effort to enforce boating under the influence (BUI) laws, Operation Dry Water, aims to educate boat operators about driving their pleasure boats as a "designated driver" - meaning sober.  From Thursday through Saturday, boaters can expect an increased presence from the Coast Guard and local law enforcement on the water, who will be paying particular attention to recreational boating safety this weekend. The increased presence will include dockside safety equipment inspections along with boating safety boardings.

"Independence Day celebrations should be enjoyed in a safe and responsible way," said CHSC President Michael McElroy.  "The CHSC is chartered by the USCG to help raise safety awareness on the Chicago River waterway, the Lakefront areas and our environment." President McElroy explains.   "Chicago's  waterways see an increase in Recreational boaters, human powered boats like Kayaks, Canoes and Stand Up Paddleboards during normal weekends. When we factor in the Independence Day celebrations, we see more traffic which heightens the need for vigilance and patience." he concludes.

The CHSC's website resource section includes Chicago Harbor Lock Safety Guide and Guide to Safe Boating in Chicago produced by the US Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago Harbor Safety Committee respectively.  Press Kit information on Operation Dry Water for local media use here 



The Chicago Harbor Safety Committee (“CHSC”) makes available programs, materials, videos, and other resources for informational purposes only. Information made available by CHSC, including on or through its website, is not intended to, nor does it, constitute legal or regulatory advice. In addition, the programs, materials, videos, and other resources made available by or through CHSC and/or its website, do not constitute, nor are they a substitute for, any licenses, registrations or certificates that may be required pursuant to any state or federal law or regulation. 


The Chicago Harbor Safety Committee (CHSC) was established on July 15th, 2013 as a group of private and public stakeholders dedicated to the safety, security, and success of the Chicago Area Waterways (CAWS) which includes the Chicago River, Sanitary and Ship Canal, Calumet River, and the Chicago-adjacent areas of Lake Michigan. Since the CHSC’s inception, we have organized and implemented several initiatives to promote and sustain the goals of marine and environmental safety on the Chicago Area Waterways.

The CHSC was established, at the request of the US Coast Guard, to provide a broad-based proactive stakeholder’s forum; and to form a partnership between the private sector and government agencies, for identifying, assessing, planning, communicating, and implementing operational and environmental measures that ensure the safe, secure, efficient and balanced management, operation, and development of Chicago area waterways, including the waters of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

The CHSC is comprised of waterways stakeholder organizations from the following CAWS sectors: Commercial Vessel Operators/Passenger, Commercial Vessel Operators/Barge & Towing, Bareboat Charter Operations, Merchant Mariners/Passenger, Barge & Towing, Recreational Boating (Powerboat & Sailing) Organizations, Human-Powered Craft (Paddling & Rowing) Organizations, Civic/Neighborhood/Environmental Advocacy Organizations, Shoreline Facility Operators/Business Owners/Developers.

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