LIVONIA (WWJ) – National Safe Boating Week, May 19-25, raises annual awareness of safe and responsible boating in Michigan.

This year, the “Wear It Michigan” campaign, sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council, is encouraging boaters to practice safety while on the water.

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Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) always puts safety first, and wearing a life jacket can reduce fatalities on Michigan waters. Education can reduce accidents on the water. In 2010, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported boating related fatalities were down 20 percent, standing at 28 compared to 36 fatalities in 2009.

“MBIA offers boater’s safety courses at our boat shows, encouraging new and seasoned boaters to learn the rules of the water for the safety of all before heading out on the water,” MBIA President John Ropp said in a release.

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According to the DNR, there are almost 3,300 miles of Great lakes coastline, more than 10,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams in the state.

Michigan competes with other top states such as Florida, California and Minnesota, as one of the ideal locations to register a boat.

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For more boating safety information, visit www.boatmichigan.org.