2015 Top 25
United States Coast Guard
Innovations in American Government Awards

The Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) trains local, county, tribal and state maritime responders in skills the US Coast Guard can quantify and catalog, so when a major catastrophe emerges, marine agents at all levels will react in a coordinated, practiced manner, using the same tactics, procedures, and language. The Program addresses the reality that the US Coast Guard may not be staffed nor equipped to handle the next major maritime disaster by itself. The Program is innovative in that it worked around the financial and logistical impossibilities of expanding the US Coast Guard to meet the mission by creating this model. Prior to the advent of the NASBLA BOAT Program, state and local agencies employed different tactics and even different terminology, so there was limited interoperability when disasters compelled law enforcement and other maritime response agencies to work together. Now, thousands of maritime responders have been trained to work together under a single national response standard while addressing and preventing emergencies.