Crowds coupled with more than a thousand boats are raisingsafety concerns for public safety agencies, particularly, theLake Travis TaskForce, an umbrella organization comprised of the public safetyagencies, like the Lower Colorado RiverAuthority Rangers and Travis CountySheriff's Office, that have jurisdiction on or adjacent to LakeTravis.
Officers from various agencies have been meeting over the pastfew months to determine how to best keep people safe at theevent.
"Everybody is working together with the promoter to make sureeverybody is safe," Roger Wade, public information officer for theTravis County Sheriff's Office told reporters.
One of the main concerns the increased number of boats that willbe on the lake and the potential for accidents.
Alcohol consumption, traveling at high speeds and horseplay wereall cited as actions that lead to a lot of accidents. Lack ofboating experience also made the list.
Boaters and other festival attendees are being urged to curb howmuch alcohol they drink and stay hydrated.
Public safety is not the only concern, protecting the integrityof the lake itself is also a top priority.
Texas Parksand Wildlife Department officials will be inspecting boatsentering Lake Travis for music festival looking for twoinvasive species, lakegiant salvinia and zebra mussels, that coulddamage the lake.
"Zebra mussels are an invasive species that can plug waterintake systems and damage your boats engine," explained Brian VanZee, regional director for TPWD, in an informationalYouTube video created by the department. "They attach tofishing piers and boat docks and harm Texas lakes by affecting thefood chain."
They can seriously harm lakes once they are introduced into thewater and either species is found, boaters can be turned away orfined $2,000 or more.
To avoid being turned away or fined Van Zee advises boat ownersto clean, drain and dry their boat, trailer and gear before comingto the music festival.
The festival kicks off Saturday, July 10, at The Reserve,located at Calcasieu Point, mile marker 22 on Lake Travis nearAustin, Texas.
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