In the blue box near the public boat launch ramps at East Mooring Basin are a number of child- and teenager-sized life jackets. Theses loaners are protected by a plexiglas lid, but during daylight hours, there's no padlock on the hasp. Loaner life jackets are intended to save lives. Studies show that while adults in charge routinely buckle toddlers and younger kids into life preservers, older kids and teens are not as likely to be wearing life jackets at the time of a boat accident.
I don't know a lot about this program, except that it was started by a doctor in Homer, Alaska. This installation in Astoria is the first place I've seen the loaner life jackets, and when the box caught my eye last year, I thought it was one of the coolest public safety programs I'd ever seen.