The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute officially launched its 2023 Watercraft Inspection Program on Memorial Day weekend to help prevent the spread of invasive species in Adirondack waterways. The college was recently awarded a $13.2 million contract from New York State to continue implementing the goals of the Adirondack Region Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program. The 5-year contract allows AWI to continue its efforts to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in regional waterways.
Since 2015, New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund has supported AWI to deliver the largest AIS spread prevention program in New York State. The new 5-year contract with AWI builds on their existing program to operate at 60+ popular or high risk launches and along travel corridors across northern New York.
“The Watercraft Inspection Program relies on compliance of the boating public to meet the Clean, Drain, Dry standard required by New York State to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species,” said Brett Wimsatt, assistant director of AWI’s stewardship program. “We train 100+ seasonal boat launch stewards to inspect and wash boats, model appropriate AIS prevention steps, and provide education and encouragement for boater self-adoption of Clean, Drain, and Dry.”
Local events are also planned to celebrate New York’s Invasive Species Awareness Week which kicks off on Monday, June 5 and runs through Sunday, June 11. The annual event promotes public understanding and knowledge of invasive species and the impacts they have on our waterbodies and woodlands.
“Our invasive species spread prevention program supports AWI’s mission to protect Adirondack waterways, native ecosystems, and water-based recreational resources from harmful invasive species,” said Zoë Smith, executive director of AWI. “We are honored to have the opportunity to continue working with NYS DEC and many local towns, businesses and lake associations to educate the public and safeguard our precious lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.”
Information about watercraft inspection and decontamination station locations and steps the public can take to maintain the quality of New York’s waterways is at adkcleanboats.org.
Invasive Species Awareness Week events are found at adkwatershed.org.
The mission of the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute is to protect clean water, conserve habitat and support the health and well-being of the people in the Adirondacks through science, collaboration, and real-world experiences for students.
About Paul Smith’s College: As the only four-year institution of higher education located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, Paul Smith’s provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences and natural resources. We are able to draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. Our community of resourceful, enterprising, supportive and adventurous individuals collectively provide experiential education, student support in the classroom and beyond, and meaningful opportunities for our alumni. We pride ourselves on research and advocacy on issues that improve our planet and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Learn more at paulsmiths.edu »
Photo at top: Paul Smith’s College AWI boat stewards ready to assist paddlers with an inspection. Paul Smith’s College website photo.