Law enforcement partners

The county sheriff’s offices conduct a very large portion of Minnesota’s boating safety activities through a supplemental grant program facilitated through the DNR by the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition to existing patrol operations, water patrol duties may focus on: boating while intoxicated, personal watercraft operation, careless and reckless operation, speed and wake violations, use of navigation lights and other equipment and registration violations.

This successful program has been making waterways safer for over 30 years, concentrating in areas of high boat use. It currently involves 74 county sheriffs’ departments concentrating their efforts in heavily used areas including nighttime patrols.


Summary of Recent Boating Statutes and Rule Changes

Statute / Rule No.AmendmentEffective Date
86B.331,86B.33, 86B.705, 169A.20, 169A.52, 169A.54, 169A.55, 169A.60, 169A.63Changes to operating while impaired. 86B.331 was repealed and replaced with new statute, 86B.33. 169A.52 and 169A.54 – new subdivisions added. 169A.55, 169A.60 and 169A.63 were all amended.July 1, 2021
169A.63, Subd. 13Interlock exemptions addedJuly 1, 2019
169A.03, 169A.20, 169A.45, 169A.51, 169A.52, 169A.76Changes more fully incorporate snowmobiles, ATVs and motorboats in operation into the DWI laws.August 1, 2018
86B.005, Subd. 4a and 4b, Subd. 8a, 86B.532 Subd. 1-5Addition of Sophia’s Law. Explanation of terms. Carbon monoxide detectors and warning stickers required in some boats.May 1, 2018

Education and Trainings

  • Deputy Boat School: Each year the DNR hosts a basic boating enforcement school typically in late May available for county sheriff’s deputies.
  • Noise Enforcement Training: Motorboat noise enforcement was included in this training session.
  • Other trainings available: check back for seasonal updates

Boat & Water Safety Team

LT Adam Block - 651-259-5057 - Boating Law Administrator

  • Program overview
  • Grant and reporting advice
  • Technical assistance in all areas
  • Audit reconciliation
  • Legislation / rules
  • Liaison with Sheriff's Association on boat and water safety
  • Liaison with other states and USCG
  • Water surface use management program – lake and river zoning
  • Awards program coordination
  • Marine event coordination
  • St. Croix Slow no-wake monitoring

Kelly Affeldt - 651-259-5361 - Grants Specialist

  • Boat and water safety grants

Nicole Biagi - 651-259-5060 - Ice Safety Coordinator

  • Ice and cold water safety communication and educational campaigns
  • Statewide and local safety outreach
  • Media contact for ice safety

Lisa Dugan - 651-259-5354 - Recreational Safety Outreach Coordinator

  • Boat and water safety communications and education campaigns
  • Media coordination, talking points and best practices
  • Boat and water education and training program assistance
  • Existing or proposed PSAs, education materials & promotion items for outreach events

Terri Roesler - 651-259-5364 - Boat and Water Safety Admin., Accident and Report Specialist

  • Accident reporting, records and stats, report forms
  • Noise meter loan requests
  • General boat and water safety questions
  • Publication orders, including test packets (large quantity)
  • Federal Activity Report for counties

Our address is:
Boat and Water Safety
Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
Saint Paul, MN 55155-4047

Request Materials: [email protected](please be sure to include your name and address)

DNR Information Center: 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367