BOSTON — The U.S. Coast Guard will be among the hundreds of boaters expected on the water throughout Independence Day weekend in an effort to prevent boating under the influence.

The national campaign to prevent boating under the influence, Operation Dry Water, will begin on Thursday.  Law enforcement crews will be patrolling to ensure boaters are safe on the water.

The Coast Guard says alcohol use is the leading known factor in fatal boating accidents.

As a federal law enforcement agency, Coast Guard crews will also continue to take action to enforce all federal laws, including those relating to the transport, use and possession of marijuana. Despite legalization in several Northeast states, marijuana is federally illegal. Marijuana is a controlled substance and possession or use remains a federal offense under the controlled substances act (21 USC 801).

The Coast Guard will be partnering with local law enforcement agencies during the operation.

Coast Guard crews may conduct boardings on commercial and recreational boats on international, federal, and state waterways while on patrol to ensure the safety and security of the boating community.

For additional questions about the Coast Guard enforcement of alcohol and marijuana, call First Coast Guard District Public Affairs at 617-223-8515 or 617-717-9609.