ODNR officer named State of ohio Boating Educator of the Year

State Watercraft Officer Dawn Potter has been awarded the State of Ohio Boating Educator of the Year by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Potter serves as the outdoor recreation and safe boating coordinator for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and is responsible for Ohio’s Outdoor Recreation Boating program. Since taking over the program in December 2014, she has not only worked to enhance existing programs, but helped launch the first Ohio Boating Summit and Families on the Water programs.

“Dawn has proven to be a valuable asset for the recreational boating community in Ohio,” said Mike Miller, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “Her passion for boating safety education and the impact she has made in Ohio – one of the busiest recreational boating areas in the world – has undoubtedly made the waterways safer.”

Potter began her career with ODNR in 2008 as a state watercraft officer patrolling Ohio’s waterways from 2008-2014 working in Scioto County on the Ohio River, as well as the division’s Springfield and Alum Creek offices. Potter was promoted to education specialist for the Alum Creek Area Office in 2012. She held a position on the ODNR Division of Watercraft Honor Guard in 2013 and currently serves on the Defensive Tactics Team, which is responsible for officer training for the division.

After receiving her associate degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Akron in 1999, Potter began her career in law enforcement with the Medina County Sheriff’s Office. After moving to Columbus in 2001, she worked as a law enforcement educator and program manager for Alvis House for Men, a halfway house for federal inmates before beginning her boating safety career in 2008.

Sponsored by BoaterExam.com, the Boating Educator of the Year Award was launched by NASBLA in 2011 to recognize those who go above and beyond to engage students and boaters, raise awareness and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft is responsible for boating safety, education and law enforcement on all waters of the state. This statewide area includes the nearshore area along 451 miles of the Ohio River, approximately half the entire surface area of Lake Erie, more than 605 inland lakes and more than 60,000 miles of inland streams, rivers and other waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.