Protect Your Waters and Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!
The boating industry and natural resource agencies have a common goal of getting boaters out to enjoy amazing places across the country. But boating access and enjoyment are threatened by the spread of aquatic invasive species - non-native plants and animals that have been introduced to our waters and that can limit our ability to recreate, diminish our fishing opportunities and degrade the very waters we enjoy. Because recreational boats are one way in which these unwanted species are moved from place to place, some states have begun working to help individual boaters avoid unintentionally spreading invasive species by inspecting and washing their boats.
You know boats, we know invasive species. Let’s keep working to minimize the risk that recreational boating contributes to invasives species spread. Together we can decrease the time boaters spend in inspection lines and increase the time and opportunities that boaters spend enjoying our amazing waters.
The links that follow provide information on both the threats and spread of invasive species, what natural resources agencies are doing to help boaters avoid spreading unwanted plants and animal, and steps boaters can take themselves.
Clarification of Terms:
Americans love to spend time on the water. Protecting aquatic resources is important for all users. The spreading of harmful plants, animals and
other organisms threatens America's water habitats. Aquatic nuisance species hitch rides on clothing, boats, and items used in the water. When brought to another lake or stream, the nuisance species may spread. If conditions are right, these introduced species become established and cause drastic changes.
New! Video helps Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! by giving a step-by-step how-to for setting up boat washing stations at fishing tournaments.
NEW! Product Catalog. This catalog is a collection of multi-media tools, including signage, brochures, banners and many other valuable outreach materials. Designed to help agencies and partners spread the message of invasive species prevention.
Stopping aquatic hitchhikers requires only a few simple procedures. (Details in the links that follow.)
For the purposes of this campaign and the related materials, Aquatic Hitchhikers are defined as non-native, harmful aquatic plants, animals or microscopic organisms that can readily be transported to other waters via popular recreational activities. Different terms will be used interchangeably throughout the campaign to describe aquatic hitchhikers. These terms include: aquatic nuisance species, ANS, aquatic invasive species and non-native, harmful aquatic species. Campaign sponsors use these terms to facilitate a better understanding about the issue and to assist with ease of reading.