Bill Memo: Stopping Invasive Species
This bill authorizes the establishment of inspection stations at certain locations in the Adirondack Park to inspect motorized watercraft for aquatic invasive species. The bill also makes permanent certain provisions of law relating to aquatic invasive species spread prevention.
This bill gives the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the authority to create a mandatory boat inspection and decontamination program to combat invasive species in the ecologically sensitive Adirondack Park. The bill also permanently extends a statewide requirement that boaters must take reasonable precautions on their own to clean, drain, and dry their boats before launching them.
Aquatic invasive species can have devastating effects on both local water bodies and local economies. Many species, including water chestnut, purple loosestrife, fishhook water fleas, and zebra mussels, have already been detected in New York and threaten to spread further throughout the state. Among other harms, invasive species can decimate local fish populations, leading to a collapse in fishing, property values, and the economic activity supporting outdoor recreation. Once an invasive species enters a lake or stream, it can be difficult and expensive to eradicate.
This bill would bring New York in line with 14 other states that provide the authority to compel inspection and decontamination of boats. Under the bill, DEC operates inspection stations and can require boaters to stop before launching to either undergo an inspection or certify that they have already completed a boat cleaning following DEC rules.
This common-sense measure will safeguard clean water in the Adirondacks and ensure that boaters do not unintentionally harm our lakes and streams as they enjoy the outdoors.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial
Memo #: 67