On YouTube: Watercraft Inspection - Dispelling Common Myths
Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species - Watercraft Inspection - News


Mary Austerman, Great Lakes Coastal Community Specialist, P: 315-331-8415, E: mp357@cornell.edu

Newark, NY, June 10, 2019 - A new video from New York Sea Grant explores some common myths of watercraft inspection, dispelling them one by one.

Myth #01 Invasive Species Provide Benefits to Humans and the Natural Environment
Invasives are not positively impacting any of us and that’s why we’re addressing them.

Eurasian Watermilfoil is an invasive species because it causes significant economic harm, environmental harm, harms the ecosystems and potentially even human health harm.

Myth #02 Invasive Species Spread Naturally and Increase Biodiversity
Although invasive species can move a lot across the landscape on their own, they’re greatly assisted by human beings. So we carry them along with us together with our stuff, on our boats. We can carry seeds in our shoes, we move firewood from our house to a campsite miles away, and with that invasive species are able to hitchhike and catch a ride and make their way to new places faster than they would if they were just schlepped on their own. Because they don’t have native predators or enemies here in the new place that they’ve been introduced into, they tend to be able to take over and eliminate the species that naturally occur in the habitat and so that’s why we have to be really cautious about the things we move and how we move them and where we move them from and to so we can avoid having greater impacts and we can slow the spread of invasive species rather than help it.

Myth #03 Aquatic Invasive Species is Expensive
Prevention is the biggest bang for your buck in terms of reducing the spread and impact of invasive species. So you want to increase those efforts because if we can prevent an infestation then we don’t have to put the money and cost into controlling that later. We have a lot of research to show that the value of prevention, the value of control strategies far outweigh allowing an invasive species to completely overtake or infest a waterway.

Myth #04 There is Nothing I Can Do to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
There are those who think that there is nothing that they can do about invasive species. But as the watercraft steward you’re providing prevention strategies, you’re modeling how others can engage in prevention tactics. We are also providing literature, you're providing handouts. There are specific high priority invasive species that we want people to look out for and once people look out for these organisms then they get really engaged. So this really provides stewardship opportunities for recreationalists.

By taking some small actions like “Clean. Drain. Dry.” your boat, each of us individually can prevent the further spread and impact of these species and protect our waterways for generations to come.

More on Aquatic Invasive Species at www.nyseagrant.org/ais, www.nyseagrant.org/watercraftinspection and www.nyis.info.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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