BRIDGEPORT, CONN. -- Local lawmakers and water safety advocates are applauding a grant, which, they say, will help the cities of Bridgeport and Stamford prevent drownings.
U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4) said the $206,225 in grant money will be used for education, training, and the enforcement of pool safety requirements.
According to a statement released by the three, drowning is the number one cause in the nation of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 4.
These are “tragedies that we can and must do more to prevent,” their statement read.
Blumenthal, Murphy and Himes called the grant a “wise investment that will keep our children and families safe while enjoying the recreational and health benefits of swimming.”
Bridgeport will be use its $74,973 award to expand on its water safety education and compliance efforts, including regular inspections of all public pools and hiring on-site enforcement personnel to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.
Bridgeport’s project will also include free swimming lessons for residents.
Stamford will use its $131,252 to partner with the Stamford Family YMCA on its water safety program, increase the amount of youth receiving water safety education, and expand training and education opportunities for staff and certified pool operators.
Karen Cohn, water safety advocate and co-founder of The ZAC Foundation, also applauded the cities for pursuing the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety grant.
Greenwich resident Cohn, and her husband Brian, established the foundation in 2008 after they lost their 6-year-old son Zachary Archer Cohn in a backyard pool accident.
The foundation uses education and advocacy to advance water safety, especially for children, Cohn said.
The foundation is ready to support pool safety programs in both communities, she said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.