Lake Allatoona Water Safety Efforts Lead To National Award

COE Communications | March 14, 2024

Travis England, Public Affairs Specialist at Lake Lanier and former ranger at Lake Allatoona, won the 2024 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Water Safety Award. England coordinated the distribution of more than 7,000 donated life jackets and educated more than 2,500 students about the importance of water safety.

An estimated 4,000 people drown to death each year in the United States. Of those deaths, more than 50% could have been prevented if those victims had been wearing a life jacket.

That’s where Travis England steps in.

England, a public affairs specialist at Lake Lanier and a former park ranger at Lake Allatoona, coordinated the water safety program at Allatoona and was recently rewarded for his efforts.

England won the 2024 National Water Safety Employee of the Year Award.

“I was ecstatic to win the award after years of hard work,” England said. “Our water safety efforts at Allatoona often take a backseat to recreational activities. Taking on the Water Safety Interpretive role in 2019, I worked tirelessly to establish connections with the local community. This award feels like a culmination of four years of dedication and relationship building.”

Winning an award such as the National Water Safety Employee of the Year requires a lot of grunt work. Travis distributed more than 7,000 life jackets to South Atlantic Division lakes donated to the Allatoona Project Management Office. He created five different environmental school programs, educating more than 2,500 students on water safety and the importance of wearing life jackets. Additionally, he revamped three water safety programs reaching, more than 7,000 individuals across various age groups.

Chris Purvis, Lead Ranger at Lake Allatoona, said it is because of these efforts and more that England was recognized with the award.

“We are extremely proud that Travis and he has worked hard the last few years making the Allatoona Water Safety Program one of the best in the country,” Purvis said. “In 2022, the Allatoona Lake Project and Staff won the National Water Safety team under his leadership. This year alone, he distributed over 7,000 life jackets. He is well deserving of this award.”

Gerald Fulton, Allatoona Lake Operations Project Manager, said it wasn’t one particular trait that set England apart from his peers but the overall package of what he brings to the table.

“He personally educated over 2,000 students in our public schools and had over 7,000 personal contacts while out on ranger patrols,” Fulton said. “He was critical in distributing over 7,000 life jackets across the southeast. He created an internal award for his teammates, the “Golden Life Jacket,” to motivate fellow rangers to engage the public and promote water safety.”

England has transitioned from being a ranger to a public affairs specialist at Lake Lanier as of December 2023.

Purvis said England’s experiences as ranger will benefit him in his new position.

“Travis has done especially well at working with the public the last few years,” Purvis said. “Working at a busy and high-profile lake such as Allatoona gives him the experience needed to transition to Public Affairs. Travis is also an excellent graphic designer, something that will be useful for hm in Public Affairs.”

England said he plans on bringing the same dedication to public affairs that he did as a ranger and water safety coordinator and said winning the award was special.

“I am grateful to my supervisor for supporting my outreach efforts and allowing me to bring creativity and energy to my role,” England said. “Winning this award was a relief, finally recognizing my efforts. I aim to bring the same enthusiasm to my position in Public Affairs, expanding my network and furthering outreach efforts across the Mobile District.”

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.