To meet DBW's major objective to protect the public's right to safe and enjoyable boating on the waterways of California, the Enforcement Unit has established two primary goals:

  • 1. To provide for adequate boating law enforcement through local agencies.
  • 2. To ensure that enforcement of California boating laws are uniform throughout the State.

The Enforcement Unit meets these goals through programs that provide financial aid and officer training to local boating law enforcement agencies. DBW provides grants to local governments to fund Marine Law Enforcement equipment and remove abandoned recreational vessels, marine debris, and to accept surrendered recreational vessels.


IconAbandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund (AWAF)

Provides grant funds for the removal, storage, and disposal of abandoned recreational vessels and other navigational hazards.

IconBoating Accident Program

DBW collects and analyzes boating accident reports, develops safety strategies and makes recommendations.

IconBoating Safety and Enforcement Equipment Program

Local governmental agencies may apply for grants to purchase boats, equipment, dive gear, and other marine patrol safety equipment.

IconBoating Safety and Enforcement Financial Aid Program

Provides funding to local government agencies to augment their existing budget for boating law enforcement personnel, search and rescue operations, recovery of drowned bodies, and other marine patrol operations.

IconCalifornia Boater Card

Mandatory boating safety education for California boat operators.

IconMarine Law Enforcement Training Program

Provides statewide training to law enforcement officers, harbor patrol officers, lifeguards, and first responders that work in a marine patrol environment.

IconSurrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange (SAVE)

Combines the Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund and the Vessel Turn-In Program grants into one, allowing local public agencies one grant to apply for and manage, and the flexibility to use the funds for both purposes as needed.

IconVessel Turn-In Program (VTIP)

Funds the removal, storage, and disposal of recreational vessels that are voluntarily surrendered by owners to participating local agencies.