Thursday, August 13, 2015

Free boat wash aims to educate boaters about dangers of invasive species

Perhaps the best way to prevent an increase in invasive species is by thoroughly washing boats after they have been in the water. To help boaters rid their rides of aquatic invaders, Michigan State University is using a federal grant for its “Clean, Drain, Dry” initiative that is providing free lakeside education and boat washes, Kevin Duffy reports for Great Lakes Echo, a project of the journalism department at MSU. The grant is through the Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Forest Service. (MSU photo: Mobile Boat Wash unit sprays off hidden invaders)

Sarah Plantrich, a project outreach volunteer, told Duffy, “Boats and boat trailers are the number one means of lake-to-lake transport for invasive species . . . We explain the techniques for effective boat washing, while providing boaters with an education and a clean and invasive-free boat.”

Plantrich said the best ways to wash a boat are to: use a spray bottle to apply a 10 percent bleach solution to boat and trailer; find a local, 25-cent manually operated car wash to spray down the boat and trailer; and leave the boat and trailer in sun between weekends of use to dry out potential invaders, Duffy writes.

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