The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced measures to prevent the further spread of aquatic invasive species in the Adirondacks. Recent changes to Environmental Conservation Law become effective on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, and require motorized boat users to obtain certification that they have inspected and removed potentially harmful aquatic invasive species before launching in waters in, and immediately adjacent to, the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
“Aquatic invasive species like hydrilla, the round goby fish, and zebra mussels are detrimental to the health of our lakes and rivers,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Our boat stewards are on the front lines, protecting our waters from invasive pests on boats and gear, and last year successfully intercepted more than 14,000 plants and animals that could have started new infestations. To protect pristine waterbodies in the Adirondacks, all motorized watercraft operators are now required to obtain Clean, Drain, Dry certification before they launch.”
The new law requires all operators of motorized watercraft to obtain certification that they have cleaned, drained, and dried boats and equipment each time they launch into a new waterbody in the Adirondack Park and within 10 miles of the Blue Line. When an aquatic invasive species inspection station adjacent to a public waterbody is open for operation, watercraft operators can receive a watercraft inspection certificate from a boat steward by accepting a free boat inspection or decontamination. Alternately, boaters may follow Clean, Drain, Dry steps on their own and fill out a self-issued certificate available on DEC’s website before launching. Boat stewards will be stationed at popular boat launches across the Adirondack Park and can be identified by their blue vests.
To learn more about the New York State Watercraft Inspection Steward Program, the new certification requirements, and where to find a boat steward, please visit DEC’s website.
To view a video message from Commissioner Seggos with Adirondack Watershed Institute boat stewards performing watercraft inspection and decontamination services and receiving a certification from a boat steward at DEC’s Port Henry boat launch site, visit DEC’s YouTube page.
June 6 to 12, 2022, is Invasive Species Awareness Month in New York State. For more information on free public events and invasive species challenges being offered across the State and online, go to the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week Events webpage.
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