Boat show attendees learn about Aquatic Nuisance Species

Attendees at the 2013 Detroit Boat Show were able to participate in research and education on how smart boating practices can reduce the spread of ANS.

The Michigan Clean Marina Program provided an educational exhibit during 2013 Detroit Boat Show, which focused educational efforts on ways boaters can minimize their impact on the environment. The nine-day event, organized by the Michigan Boating Industries Association, provided an opportunity for educators and researchers from Michigan universities to reach a targeted boating audience that would otherwise be difficult to contact. Wayne State University had researchers at the show to survey boaters on habits that might contribute to the spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) from different bodies of water, particularly the movement of boats from one body of water to another. Over 80 surveys were completed, and surveying will continue in the coming months at various boat shows, boat launches, marinas, and harbors.  Additionally, the survey is available online and is open to all registered boat owners in Michigan and Toledo Harbor, Ohio.

Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) was present at the booth, and answered questions about the status of the more than 180 species currently found the Great Lakes System. MSUE staff also taught boaters how to inspect and clean their boat and trailer to ensure they do not spread ANS among different bodies of water. Displays from the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers campaign were available to help boaters understand how to inspect and clean their boat before launching, as well as after they are done and the boat is trailered. The slogan “Clean, Drain, and Dry” is a way to remember what to do, but specifics include:

  • Inspect the watercraft and trailer in all locations that may contain ANS, including the hitch, rollers, axle, live well, transom well, and the lower unit/propeller; as well as equipment like gear used for fishing, waterskiing/tubing, and diving;
  • Remove all visible plants, mussels, mud or anything else that may be from the water;
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash;
  • Drain all compartments that may contain water, including the bilge and live well;
    • Spray or rinse all equipment with high pressure and/or hot water, and/or
    • Dry everything, either by leaving it out to dry or by wiping down everything with a towel. Everything should be dry at least five days before going into other bodies of water.
  • Additionally, for boats that were left in the water for more than a day:
    • The hull and other external areas should be sprayed/rinsed with 140 degrees Fahrenheit hot water at 2,500 psi for at least 10 seconds; and
    • The motors and interior compartments should be rinsed and flushed with 120 F hot water for at least two minutes.

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