Contact Public Affairs

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Public Affairs Office
332 Minnesota St., Suite E1500
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 290-5807
Fax: (651) 290-5752 


Corps of Engineers reminds everyone to practice water safety this holiday weekend

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published June 28, 2023
Updated: June 28, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. – As the steward of many public waters within the Upper Midwest, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, wants to remind everyone about the importance of practicing safe, responsible and thoughtful activities in and around the water this 4th of July weekend.

Tragically, too many people die each year in water-related accidents. People of all ages are encouraged to practice water safety this weekend and throughout the entire year. Before entering or being around the water, keep these five things in mind because they could save your life or the life of someone you care about:

  • Expect the unexpected – Accidents can happen within seconds so be prepared;
  • Wear a life jacket – Wearing a life jacket will help you survive an unexpected fall into the water. It can also save your life if you become exhausted due to fatigue, waves or current;
  • Know your swimming abilities – Be aware that swimming in lakes and rivers is different from swimming in a pool, and your swimming ability decreases with age;
  • Alcohol and water are a deadly combination – Alcohol induces an inner ear condition known as caloric labyrinthitis that can lead to disorientation when underwater; and
  • Understand boater’s hypnosis – It is a condition brought on by the effects of sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion experienced during a day of boating. Boater’s hypnosis can slow your reaction time almost as much as if you were intoxicated. Adding alcohol to this condition intensifies the effects.

If you plan to go boating on the Mississippi River, please be patient near our locks and dams. River traffic increases during the weekend and our staff are working as fast as safety permits. Please also remember the priority of lockage: 1) U.S. government vessels, 2) commercial passenger vessels, 3) commercial navigation tows and then recreational vessels. Finally, please avoid the restricted areas near our locks and dams. The area 600 feet upstream and 150 feet down stream of these structures is extremely dangerous. For more information about safely boating through a lock and dam, go here.


Public Affairs

Release no. 23-038