With boating season upon us, it’s important to remember to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) using the “clean, drain, dry” method for boats, as well as disinfecting fishing gear. Boat stewards are available at more than 200 launches across New York State to educate and assist boaters in practicing these techniques every time they come off the water and prior to launching.
Posts Tagged ‘boat stewards’
On June 27, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in partnership with seven Great Lakes states, six Northeast states, and six Canadian provinces, announced the annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz will run from June 30 through July 9. This international campaign bolsters existing efforts to inform boaters and others about the risks of introducing and spreading aquatic invasive species (AIS). During this coordinated outreach effort, partners will boost social media AIS messaging and increase in-person AIS education at thousands of water access sites throughout the Great Lakes and Northeast region.
Adirondack Watershed Institute boat stewards this summer continued their education-focused mission of protecting Adirondack lakes by preventing the spread of invasive plants.
As a new law requiring boaters certify they have cleaned their boat and that it does not contain any visible plant or animal material before launching in the park goes into effect, though, staffing remains a key challenge to both the stewards and the environmental conservation officers tasked with enforcing the new law.
If you’ve visited a boat launch this summer, you may have met some of our friendly watercraft inspection stewards who monitor incoming and outgoing boats for signs of hitchhiking invasive species. Stewards educate over 500,000 water recreationists every year on “Clean, Drain, Dry” practices. This year, Stewards have intercepted more than 6,611 invasive species from leaving or entering NYS waterbodies!
Watercraft inspection stewards also collect data about potential travel vectors for aquatic invasive species (AIS). This data helps our AIS team determine which waterbodies are the most vulnerable so they can increase surveying and outreach efforts.
Check out our interactive map to find a watercraft inspection steward located near you.
Boating in the Adirondacks? Please see our watercraft inspection steward webpage to learn about the new law requiring ADK boaters to self-certify that their watercraft has been cleaned, drained, and dried.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminded everyone to clean, drain, and dry boats and trailers, and disinfect fishing gear before recreating in New York’s waters to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Starting Friday, May 27, watercraft inspection stewards, AKA boat stewards, will be stationed at more than 225 boat launches throughout the state to educate and assist the public in cleaning their equipment. Identified by their blue vests, boat stewards can provide a refresher on how to inspect boats and gear and offer information about AIS in New York.
“New York’s abundant lakes, ponds, and streams are vital to the state’s ecology and economy, which is why DEC and our partners are helping protect against the impacts of aquatic invasive species,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Recreating responsibly in New York waters is a critical component for preventing the spread of invasive pests and our dedicated boat stewards will be working hard to protect New York’s waters for the benefit and enjoyment of all. I’m asking New Yorkers to follow their useful instructions to help prevent aquatic invaders.”
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