A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent has been appointed to serve on a newly formed national safe boating commission.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Executive Board appointed LDWF Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, of Baton Rouge, to the new Boating Professional Certification Commission.
“I’m honored and excited to be working on this new commission as we lay the groundwork for this new certification for recreational boating program management,” said Capt. Zechenelly.
The commission consists of 13 members that represent state, federal, nonprofit, industry and public stakeholder interests and will look at the National Recreational Boating Program in its entirety to develop the Recreational Boating Professional Certification. The certification will be a voluntary program designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and designate recreational boating professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to recreational boating program management.
Capt. Zechenelly is originally from Pearl River and joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 1999. In August of 2013, Capt. Zechenelly was named the Boating Law Administrator for the state of Louisiana. She currently oversees the Enforcement Division’s marine theft investigations, boating crash incident investigations, and the statewide boating safety education program.
“Capt. Zechenelly is a great asset to our state’s safe boating program. It is an honor to have our boating program once again receive national recognition and have a positive influence on the national boating program,” said Col. Jeff Mayne, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.
NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
NASBLA’s mission is to strengthen the ability of the state and territorial boating authorities to reduce death, injury and property damage associated with recreational boating and ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable boating environment.
The Commission will be comprised of representatives from major aspects of the recreational boating program, including training, law enforcement, vessel numbering/titling, education, access, waterway management and accident reporting.
The members and the categories they represent include:
• Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries — States
• John Adey, American Boat & Yacht Council, Boating Industry
• Laurel Anders, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission — States
• Robert Brandenstein, U.S. Power Squadrons — Nonprofit
• Mark Brown, Oklahoma Highway Patrol — States
• Ed Carter, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency — State Agency Management
• Virgil Chambers, Retired Recreational Boating Safety Professional — Public
• Michael Cortese, U.S. Coast Guard (Active Duty) — Federal
• Dan Hesket, Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism — States
• Stan Linnell, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks & Trails — States
• Eric Lundin, Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police — States
• Edwin Lyngar, Nevada Department of Wildlife — States
• Gary Owen, National Water Safety Congress — Nonprofit