June 3, 2016
Before you put your boat in that next body of water, give it a wash.
“I liken invasive species to ecological terrorists because that’s what they are,” Eric Siy, Executive Director of Fund for Lake George, said. “They sneak in and once they get in, they do untold damage and they don’t stop.”
Washing off your boat and flushing the engine before putting it in the water can prevent organisms like the spiny water flea from corrupting another habitat.
“There are different life stages of that species that you can’t see with the naked eye. So the resting egg stage of a spiny water flea might be floating in a cup of bilge water or a live well and you can’t see it,” Aquatic Invasive Species management Coordinator of the Lake Champlain Basin Program Meg Modley said.
To protect a body of water from an invasive species transfer, stop by a boat washing station to clean the exterior of your boat, drain all water from bilks, and ballast tanks, and then dry it to kill any unseen hitch-hikers.
“If we want the next generation to have lakes free of invasive species, now is the time,” Siy said. “We will not get a second chance to do this right.”
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has introduced new legislation to try and prevent these native species from encountering each other.
“The numbers of boats that go through here is 28,000 per year, so it’s very important; and I just want to take this opportunity also, as we are headed into the hot summer to please advantage and ensure that you go through the boat washing program to make sure that we can protect our ecological gem, Lake George,” said Elise Stefanik, congresswoman.
There are boat washing stations all over the village of Lake George.