Clean Boat Crew connected with record number of boaters

With the boating season winding down for the year, Clean Boat Crew (CBC) volunteers and site leaders can take a deep breath knowing they engaged a record number of boaters, anglers, and other water recreationists this year to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

The CBC reached 4,431 water-lovers — 25 percent more than last year’s all-time high of 3,519 — at boat ramps and docks in 10 locations in Illinois and Indiana. The crews were out from Memorial Day weekend to August 9.

The program in its fifth year continued to educate about ways to prevent the transfer of AIS from one waterbody to another through simple cleaning techniques outlined in the Be a Hero – TransportZero™ campaign:
  • Remove plants, animals, and mud from all equipment
  • Drain all water from your boat and gear
  • Dry everything thoroughly with a towel

The crews distributed 8,000 pieces of outreach materials not only at busy marinas, but at several summer events: Gary’s Clean Water Days Festival, the Big Bass Bash, Hammond Marina’s Venetian Night, the Geoffrey Morris Memorial Fishing Tournament at North Point Marina, and Harbor Days at North Point Marina.

“The program continues to be well-received by the public, and more and more people recognize the message.  But there’s still a lot of curiosity about it, which leads me to conclude that there’s still work to be done,” said Sarah Zack, an IISG organizer of the program.

To date, CBC has engaged with more than 13,000 boaters, so if you’re interested in becoming a volunteer to further expand its reach, contact Sarah Zack.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources funded the Illinois program, and Indiana Department of Environmental Management funded the Indiana effort.

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