For Immediate Release
July 1, 2020
Contact Sara Stahlman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Boaters reminded to “Clean, Drain, Dry” to help prevent spread of aquatic invasive species
Virtual events raising awareness June 28 through July 10
(Erie, PA) – Aquatic invasive species (AIS) across the Great Lakes are getting ‘the blitz’ in an effort to engage boaters and others to prevent the spread of AIS from one water body to another. The annual AIS Landing Blitz is happening across the Great Lakes watershed, and across social media. Volunteers usually participate in person, operating boat cleaning stations at public boat launch areas, but due to COVID-19, many of the states will be promoting the “Clean, Drain, Dry” message virtually this year.
The steps involved in the “Clean, Drain, Dry” messaging include CLEAN off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from all equipment before leaving water access, DRAIN watercraft bilge, livewell, motor and other water containing devices before leaving water access, DRY everything for at least five days OR wipe with a towel before reuse.
“We know that the Fourth of July holiday weekend is one of the busiest boating times of the year, making it a great time to make sure boat owners know to ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’ their gear,” said Sara Stahlman, Pennsylvania Sea Grant extension leader. “Last year we had great response to the events held in PA State Parks in Erie, Cambria, and Crawford Counties. This year, we are spreading the message through social media, TV, and via radio.”
Visit @PennsylvaniaSeaGrant on Facebook or https://twitter.com/PAseagrant on twitter to watch the promotional video. Additional information about “Clean, Drain, Dry” is available at https://seagrant.psu.edu.
The Landing Blitz corresponds with Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week, June 28 through July 10, and includes all Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces.
Millions of dollars are spent each year in Pennsylvania to control the impacts of aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels, sea lamprey and Eurasian watermilfoil,” continued Stahlman. “It only takes a few minutes to do a walk-around of your watercraft and trailer and drain water to make sure everything is clear of material that doesn’t belong.”
Aquatic invasive species have the potential to harm Pennsylvania’s environment, economy and human health. Invasive aquatic plants such as hydrilla can crowd out native species and form dense monocultures that limit food and habitat, block access for boaters and anglers and foul equipment such as boat motors and fishing gear.