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If you are a first-time boater or if you just want to learn the latest "rules of the road", this will help make your boating activities safe and enjoyable. A boat is your passage to amazing multi-season activities. Recreational boating is a great day on the water AND it is our shared responsibility to help keep the waters and resources that we use healthy for generations to come.

Boating Safety and Education for All

FREE online activities and lessons to boating safety information for children, youth, adults and schools.

Boating Home Study Course

This DBW course meets the new California Boater Card education requirement. It can be read online or downloaded to a home computer. The exam consists of 60 questions. Students who use the online book may order individual exam packets. This national and state approved course allows boaters to study at home at their own pace, and it covers state and federal boating laws, rules of the road, boat handling, required equipment, navigational aids, accident reporting and special topics.

Once completed, the answer sheet can be returned to DBW for scoring. Certificates of completion will be mailed to students who receive at least 80% score. (Please allow four to six weeks for delivery).

How to take the course:
Click here to open the digital course book. If you are interested in taking the exam, after reading the digital course book, e-mail DBW to request an exam packet be delivered by mail. Books/exam packets cannot be delivered by fax or e-mail.

The AquaSMART Live! Puppet Show


While playing in the water can be fun, it can also be dangerous. The AquaSMART Live! Puppet Show presentation teaches students water and boating safety lessons that can help save lives.

The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways provides this assembly free of charge.

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K-12 Education

Boating and Waterways provides fundamental water safety training for all the children in the state, so California’s youth will be able to enjoy water recreation while avoiding its hazards. California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW)  developed the award-winning AquaSMART curriculum program available to K-12 teachers and parents. The DBW is also active in many youth outreach events and through traditional and online media to fulfill its responsibility of boating safety education for California children and youth.

Boating and Waterways

California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) relies on partnerships with many organizations (educational institutions, aquatic centers, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons) and more to provide boating safety education and positive outreach to children, youth, and adults.

Go Boating Today!

No boat. No problem. Enter your city or zip code to search for boat rentals or charters near you!

Green boating resources, tips and ideas for personal watercraft users.

Learn about how to minimize your impact on the environment and responsible recreation practices at TreadLightly.org

Read More: Discover Boating

The Basics of Boating with Your Pet:

How do you choose a life jacket for your dog?

Fit: Make sure the life jacket fits securely. It is best to check the fit in the store, before you buy.

Lifting Handles: To make retrieving your pet safer and easier.

Comfort: Check to see where straps and buckles fall to make sure they will not cause your pet any discomfort.

Color: Choose a bright color to make it easier to spot your dog in the water.

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Bobber the Water Safety Dog invites kids to visit his water safety website to paws and play games, color, watch cartoons, and learn about the importance of wearing a life jacket.

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 Public Downloads

All items are free to view, share, and download.

When available, we provide all our content with a Spanish version in our public download section. You can find additional material from sources listed in all our articles.

About - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approximately 37,000 dedicated Civilians and Soldiers delivering engineering services to customers in more than 130 countries worldwide.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers men and women are protecting and restoring the Nation's environment including critical efforts in the Everglades, the Louisiana coast, and along many of our Nation's major waterways. The Corps is also cleaning sites contaminated with hazardous, toxic or radioactive waste and material in an effort to sustain the environment.