Park ranger honored for his work with boating safety

National Park Service park ranger Marc Burt was named the 2014 Boating State Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, marking the first time a park ranger has won the award in Nevada.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators presents the award in every state each year to a law enforcement officer who contributes significantly to boating safety.

“It’s a very prestigious award,” Burt said. “I was very surprised and honored.”

Burt began working at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 1987.

In addition to serving as a boating officer and responding to numerous search and rescues throughout his career, Burt trains law enforcement officers within the Park Service, NDOW, Clark County Fire Department, Hoover Dam Police Department and Las Vegas Metro Search and Rescue.

Burt has been a boating instructor for the U.S. Department of the Interior since 1998.

“I was honored to nominate Marc. He’s been an exceptional partner for boating safety in Southern Nevada,” said David Pfiffner, Nevada’s boating law administrator. “I’ve worked with him for two decades, and he is one of the most committed officers I have ever met.”

According to the award citation, Burt is recognized as “a subject matter expert, and his opinion is sought nationwide on patrol vessel design and specifications.”

Burt also was considered for a regional award by the association.

In other Lake Mead news, Julie Drugatz was recently named chief of commercial services for the recreation area.

“We’re excited to have Julie on board,” said Patrick Gubbins, deputy superintendent of the recreation area. “She has already developed great relationships with our marina operators, and coming from Lake Powell, she understands the complexities of operating a business on a fluctuating reservoir.”

Drugatz has 23 years of experience in the hospitality, marine and recreation industry. In addition, she has 14 years of federal service as a concession employee and manager for several national parks including Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, Denali, Mesa Verde, Shenandoah and Olympic.

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