New rules combat aquatic invasive species
SCHENECTADY The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing new regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) at DEC boat launches, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.
“These proposed regulatory changes are the latest in a series of actions DEC has taken over the past few years to combat the spread of harmful invasive species, including the emerald ash borer,” Commissioner Martens said.
The DEC will accept public comments on the proposal through February 24, 2014. The full text of the proposed regulation can be found on DEC’s website.
“Cooperation and assistance from the public is essential in order for these efforts to succeed,” Martens said. “Boats, trailers and the equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody and significantly harm recreational and commercial use of a waterbody while having a detrimental effect on native fish, wildlife and plants.”
Boaters are advised to carefully check their boats, trailers and equipment for any plant or animal material that may be clinging to it and remove it if found. Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations are provided at many DEC boat launches for this purpose. According to the DEC, a boat should also be completely drained, including live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks, and dried before it is used in another waterbody.
“This regulation is an important component of DEC’s efforts to help ensure AIS-free waters remain free and additional AIS are not introduced to other waters,” Martens said.