Law enforcement partners

The county sheriff’s offices conduct a 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 on areas of high boat use. It currently involves 74 county sheriff’s 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86B.705, 169A.20, 169A.52, 169A.54, 169A.55, 169A.60, 169A.63Changes to operating while impaired. 86B.331 was repealed and replaced with new statute, 86B.33. 169A.52 and 169A.54 – new subdivisions added. 169A.55, 169A.60 and 169A.63 were all amended.July 1, 2021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 training

Boat and Water Safety sponsors schools or classes annually on various subjects.  Instructors are DNR personnel, county sheriff's deputies and other specialists. We attempt to get POST credit for most classes. There is no charge for DNR classes. Attendee covers travel costs, meals and lodging except where specifically noted. Notification is sent to the counties on all of these classes and registration is usually done via e-mail.

2023 scheduled classes:


Basic Boating Safety Enforcement

May 8 – May 12, 2023

Dates usually the first or second week in May - notices will be sent in April.

Motorboat Noise Enforcement

June 8, 2023

Training is held at Hennepin County Water Patrol. Contact Capt. Adam Block to register and for more details.

Metro boat and water meetings:


November 9, 2023

These meetings occur eight months out of the year, currently split between the Ramsey County Water Patrol building and Hennepin County Water Patrol.

February 8, 2024

April 18, 2024 
June 13, 2024 

Boat & Water Safety Team

Capt. 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

Back to top