Vicksburg, Miss … The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Bilingual Water Safety Team will be enhancing water safety messages during Aqua Fest this weekend at Lake Greeson and DeGray Lake for both English and Spanish speaking visitors.
Aqua Fest is being coordinated by the National Operations Center for Water Safety managed by Pam Doty, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Water Safety Program manager. For the past several years, Spanish-speaking Corps employees have served on the National Bilingual Water Safety Team providing their knowledge of various Spanish dialects to provide common translations to Corps publications developed by the National Operations Center for Water Safety. This effort has resulted in products that can be used nationally such as coloring books, posters, brochures, customer comment cards, volunteer services applications, and much more.
Aqua Fest, a family oriented event, attracts many visitors, many of whom are Spanish-speaking residents. “We don’t want communication to be a barrier with any of our water safety products or water related events. The bilingual team will be a great asset in providing tips for our rangers to communicate with our Hispanic visitors,” stated Brian Westfall, a natural resources specialist with the Corps’ Ouachita Project Management Office.
The Corps’ water safety mascot, Bobber the Water Safety Dog, will be at the Aqua Fest and activities will include dry land swimming lessons, roving interpretation, duck pond, water rescue station, and more. Activities are scheduled for Saturday, August 24, beginning at 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Lake Greeson’s Dam Site Recreation Area, and Sunday, August 25, beginning at 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at DeGray Lake’s Highway 7 Day Use Area at the north beach.
For additional information on Aqua Fest, please contact Brian Westfall at 501-622-0048.
The Corps is the Nation’s leading provider of water-based outdoor recreation with more than 420 lake and river projects in 43 states and more than 370 million visitors per year. In Arkansas, approximately 9-10 million persons visit the Corps’ three Arkansas lakes annually, which bring about $33.89 million in total sales, and support more than 700 jobs within the areas.