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Ohio Department of Natural Resources is launching 'Paddle Ohio'
Officials want Ohioans to enjoy waterways, but also to be safe 

Andy Chow
In The Region:

The state is launching a new initiative to encourage Ohioans to take advantage of its waterways.

Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow was there for the kickoff event where he quickly learned that safety always comes first.

LISTEN: Paddle Ohio

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Boating down local rivers and creeks is trending big time in the state. To further that interest, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is launching “Paddle Ohio," which streamlines information for people who want to get out onto the water.

Actually taking people out on canoes was going to be a big part of the launch event. But officials took one look at Battelle Darby Creek in central Ohio and knew it was not safe. ODNR’s Mike Miller says recent rainfall made the water too high.

“You’re always better to be safe than sorry. Just like wearing a life jacket. A life jacket, when you fall into the water, it’s the wrong time to be putting it on. It should be on beforehand."

Here are some tips for detecting dangerous waterways: if the water looks muddy or if you see tree limbs dipping into the stream, it may be better to stay out.

Officials hope Ohioans will make good use of the state’s waterways during the summer months, but they continue to stress that wearing a life jacket is the most important step.

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