The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in cooperation with seven Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces, have teamed up on the second annual Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Landing Blitz, a regional campaign to inform boaters and others about the risks of introducing and spreading these invasive pests.
During this coordinated outreach effort, partners throughout the Great Lakes region are educating the public at hundreds of water access sites through July 5.
AIS are non-native aquatic plants and animals that can cause environmental and economic harm and harm to human health. Many AIS have been found in the lakes, ponds, and rivers of New York, and can be transported from waterbody to waterbody on watercraft and equipment.
Boat stewards are paid members of the community or volunteers that provide boaters and other water recreationists with important information about precautions to reduce the likelihood of spreading AIS. The stewards help people learn how to inspect, clean, drain, and treat watercraft and equipment. For the direct link to the map to help locate these services, visit the NYS Public Boat Launches with Boat Stewards or Decontamination Services Map.
Local communities and volunteers are key partners in the success of this event. DEC also works with state Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs) and lake associations to reach out to boaters and anglers and foster stewardship of New York’s waters. Boaters will have the opportunity to engage directly with stewards in their community during the Blitz and learn how to clean, drain, and dry their boats as part of this collective effort to help protect New York’s rivers and lakes, including the Great Lakes, from the unwanted impacts of invasive species.