Boaters launching from Department of Environmental Conservation-owned sites are now required to remove all visible plant and animals materials from boats, trailers and other equipment before putting it in the water, the agency says in a news release.
They say the new regulation is to stop the spread of invasive species.
"New York State continues to work with its state, local, federal and environmental partners to protect water bodies from destructive invasive species," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a news release. "Boats, trailers and associated equipment are common pathways for spreading aquatic invasive species. These new regulations will help reinforce the message that boaters need to clean their equipment of any clinging plant and animal materials and drain their boats prior to launching at lands administered by DEC."
The DEC advises that boaters take the following precautions:
· Inspect the boat, trailer and other equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Materials should be disposed of in one of the nuisance invasive species disposal stations installed at many DEC boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.
· Drain the boat's bilge and any other water holding compartments such as live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks. This does not apply to water associated with sanitary systems or drinking water supplies.
The agency recommends drying a boat, but it isn't required. They say those who don't dry their watercraft should flush bilge and other water-holding compartments with water that is at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. They say this prevents microscopic invasive organisms from propagating.
The new regulations can be read in full at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html
The DEC offers more information about aquatic invasive species at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.html