2010 Alaska Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
(Anchorage, AK) - The Alaska Office of Boating Safety, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation are pleased to announce that Jacques Kosto, Chief Ranger of the Kenai River is Alaska’s recipient of the 2010 Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. As Alaska’s nominee, Kosto was also considered for the National Association of Boating Law Administrators’ Butch Potts Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award Program. This program was created in 2000 to celebrate our country’s outstanding marine officers. The responsibilities of today’s marine enforcement officers encompass a wide diversity of disciplines. Boating officers are responsible for much more than enforcing laws. They must also educate the public, save lives, facilitate wildlife conservation, conduct homeland security details, and protect citizens, among numerous other duties. Often these officers go well above the call of duty.
Kosto has been the Chief Ranger for the Kenai River Special Management Area since August 2006, and was recognized because of his leadership managing this waterway which sees a fifth of the state’s sport fishing use. He inspires others to excellence through his passion for safer and more enjoyable boating. Jacques supervises an excellent team of Ali Eskelin, Jack Ransom and Don Barber who patrol the 108 mile Kenai River, which includes Kenai and Skilak Lakes.
Jacques is one of the Division of Parks best boating safety instructors. He teaches several of the state’s NASBLA-approved Alaska Water Wise courses each year and is an instructor at the Kenai River Guide Academy. But where he really impacts boating safety is his work with the future boaters of Alaska, whether on the water encouraging life jacket use with ice cream reward coupons or in the classroom with a Kids Don’t Float presentation. Jacques is often requested by name and he and his staff have received several accolades including a Partner of Excellence award from Safe Kids Alaska for their work with the annual Safe Kids Fair where they put several hundred kids through various water activities in a pool.
Jacques is also a defensive tactics, powerboat operations instructor and field training officer. He and his staff were major assets in the filming of the state’s two educational videos Cold Water Boating and Boating Alaska and Jacques even had cameos in both. He helped with the development of the Kenai River Supplement to the Boater’s Handbook and the creation of a “pilot” project to improve the reporting of boating safety enforcement statistics.