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DEC proposes regulatory changes to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species at boat launches

Public comments accepted through Feb. 24

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.

The proposed regulatory changes require boaters to remove all visible plants and animals from boats, trailers and associated equipment and to drain boats before launching at or leaving a DEC boat launch and waterway access.

DEC will accept public comments on the proposal through Feb. 24. The full text of the proposed regulation can be found on DEC’s website atdec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html.

“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,” Martens said. “Cooperation and assistance from the public is essential in order for these efforts to succeed. Boats, trailers and the equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from water body to water body and significantly harm recreational and commercial use of a water body while having a detrimental effect on native fish, wildlife and plants. 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.”

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. The boat should also be completely drained, including live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks, and dried before it is used in another water body.

Recommended drying times for each month of the year can be calculated at 100thmeridian.org/emersion.asp. Additional information on aquatic invasive species and preventing their spread can be found at dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.html.

Comments on the proposed regulations can be sent via email tofishregs@gw.dec.state.ny.us, or mailed to Edward Woltmann, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753. Hard copies of the full text may also be requested from Mr. Woltmann at the above address.

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