For Immediate Release: 3/30/2021

State Parks Launches New Virtual Programs to Prevent Drownings on California’s Waterways

Contact: Sara Kennedy I State Park Peace Officer (Lifeguard) I (949) 304-3295

AquaSMART Live!: Lifeguard Edition Set for April 1 

California State Parks today announced a new series of virtual programs to help prevent drownings when recreating in California’s waterways. The first AquaSMART Live! Lifeguard Program, set for this Thursday, April 1 at 2 p.m. on the department’s Facebook page, will focus on river safety. Participants will be able to travel virtually to Auburn State Recreation Area (SRA), Folsom Lake SRA, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and South Yuba River State Park.

As spring brings warm weather, snowmelt occurs; cold, swift waters rush through California’s rivers and into lakes and reservoirs. Rivers are not only a precious resource, but also a source of high-quality outdoor recreation. As enjoyable as they can be for outdoor enthusiasts, they can also be dangerous if certain precautions are not taken, such as wearing a life jacket, swimming only in designated areas, not entering if the water is too cold, actively supervising children, and etc. Even the most experienced swimmers can endanger themselves.  

Below are details on the first AquaSMART Live! Lifeguard Program:

WHAT:    AquaSMART Live!: Lifeguard Edition

               Focus will be on river and swift water safety.

WHEN:    Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 2 p.m.

WHERE:   California State Parks’ Facebook page                          

WHO:       Lifeguard Sara Kennedy will host the series along with other lifeguards, rangers, interpreters and Division of Boating and Waterways staff.

Two additional AquaSMART Live! Lifeguard programs are planned for later this spring and summer that will be geared toward K-12 students. In collaboration with the PORTS Home Learning Program, teachers and students will be able to register for the future programs online at The topics for the upcoming programs will be boating and beach safety, and rip currents awareness. Additional resources and curriculum for K-12 on safe boating and water recreation can be found on the AquaSmart website:

State Parks reminds the public on the need to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over. Visitors are advised to plan ahead by visiting the park unit webpage of the planned outdoor destination prior to leaving home, staying local, wearing a face covering, practing physical distancing and avoiding gatherings with people outside the immediate household. Also, visitors are being asked to pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and visitors can help alleviate the impact on park facilities. For detailed information, please visit For safety tips, visit

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.