On October 25, 2011, the Secretaria Nacional de Gestion de Riesgos (SNR) announced a new program called Project Safe Beaches to institutionalize lifeguards in all coastal Provinces.  Rescate Acuatico will oversee the project and has a 2 year, $400,000 budget for rescue equipment, rescue boats, training and infrastructure development.  Rescate Acuatico will certify the lifeguards to be eligible to be hired by the local municipalities.  Only certified lifeguards can work on the beach.  Municipalities are now required to create a budget for lifeguards and will oversee wage administration.

I am very proud to see our hard work transform into public policy.  I am also excited to see the lifeguards receiving certification from a government entity (vs. Americans) to validate their effectiveness.  Lastly, our grass roots effort to have Cities pay for lifeguards is already in effect in Playas, Montanita, Manta and Esmeraldas allowing for an easy transition to follow the new law.   Sustained professional lifeguard operations have been created and the long term outlook is very promising.