New York State is seeking proposals for an entity to administer the Adirondack Park Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Spread Prevention Program. The program is expected to provide support to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species throughout Adirondacks through a network of boat stewards and decontamination stations.
With more than 2,300 lakes and ponds, 1,500 miles of rivers, and 30,000 miles of brooks and streams, the Adirondack region is particularly vulnerable to the introduction of AIS. Once established, species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil can spread rapidly through connecting waterways or by “hitchhiking” on recreational boat equipment, including propellers, trailers, rudders, and motors. Strategically placed boat stewards will help prevent the spread of AIS by educating boaters on how to properly identify and remove AIS, and performing voluntary boat and equipment inspections.
DEC’s Request for Proposal (RFP) seeks an administrator to deliver AIS services within and in the close vicinity of the Adirondack Park boundary for a minimum of three years, with two optional one-year extensions. With a strong emphasis on AIS-infested waters such as Lake Champlain and Great Sacandaga Lake, the RFP aims to protect and prevent the further spread of AIS to vulnerable waterbodies. The state has dedicated funding through the Environmental Protection Fund to support the winning applicant in implementation of this program.
Through the AIS program, DEC will implement the recommendations of the New York Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan (AISMP). Top priorities in the AISMP call for expanding boat steward programs and ensuring consistency of steward program delivery. Boat stewards help prevent the spread of AIS through boating activities by delivering AIS spread prevention education and outreach, conducting courtesy boat and trailer inspections and showing boaters how to inspect and remove plants and organisms from their boats, trailers and other equipment.
The deadline to submit a proposal to this RFP is October 14, 2016. For more information and to view the Request for Proposal, contact [email protected] or call (518) 402-9405.
Photo of investigators checking a boat for invasive plants provided by DEC.