Aquatic invasive species can wreak havoc on water bodies where they are introduced. By crowding out native species, excessively preying on native plants and animals, and in many cases, damaging human property, these aquatic invaders inflict serious and irreversible ecological, biological and economic impacts. By making sure that your boat and boating gear are clean and free of invasive species before and after use, you can help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species in our waters.
This summer, KP-CISMA partners at the Kenai Watershed Forum installed new signage at high-use areas in order to relay this message to boaters. These attention-grabbing signs developed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, AK Department of Natural Resources and AK Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) wear the slogan “Clean, Drain, Dry,” highlighting common places that invasive species stowaway on equipment. They also provide information for reporting invasive species. The Kenai Watershed Forum consulted ADF&G and Alaska State Parks to determine popular sites where signage would be viewed by many boaters, ensuring that this important message reaches as many people as possible. Signs have now been installed at Longmere, Island, Stormy, and Sports Lakes. Several additional high-use access points are slated to receive signage in the near future!
Keep an eye out for these shiny new signs and do your part to keep Kenai Peninsula waters free of invasive species! To learn more about aquatic invasive species and what you can do to help, check out stopaquatichitchhikers.org, and remember, Clean. Drain. Dry.