According to the EPA, invasive species are one of the largest threats to the terrestrial, coastal and freshwater ecosystems in America. The good news is it’s relatively easy for green boaters to help stop the spread of invasive species.
What are invasive species?
Invasive species are plants, animals and pathogens that have been introduced into an area where it does not occur naturally. These species can establish a breeding population and spread widely throughout the new location, disturbing the delicate balance of the native ecosystem.
Where do invasive species come from?
One of the most common ways that invasive species are introduced is on the hull and in the ballast water of boats. A boat can unknowingly transport plants and tiny animals from one body of water to another by simply boating in different waterways.
How can you prevent the spread of invasive species?
Clean your boat thoroughly when you take it out of the water and again before you put it into water. This is especially important if you’ll be changing locations. It’s estimated that as much as two-thirds of invasive species in waterways and coastal regions have been introduced by boats.
Taking the time to properly clean your boat between launches can have a significant impact on your environment. Regular boat maintenance, including regular cleaning with environmentally-safe products, also protects your investment and helps your boat last longer.