British Columbians taking to the water this summer are in for a new sight at some of their favourite spots across the province with new signage reminding boaters, anglers, canoers, kayakers and others to take action and clean, drain and dry their boat and equipment to protect lakes and rivers from the spread of aquatic invasive species.
“The new signage is part of the Clean Drain Dry program being piloted in BC by the Invasive Species Council of BC and the Canadian Council on Invasive Species and funded by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for expansion across Canada,” said Gail Wallin, executive director of the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC).
“These signs will remind boaters that they should always take action before launching into another body of water to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.”
The ISCBC explains that aquatic invasive species are non-native species, including plants, animals and invertebrates, that harm the environment, economy and society. They can affect many important industries including power generation, fisheries and aquaculture, shipping and tourism.
They compete with native species, put stress on ecosystem functions, processes, and structures, litter beaches, foul docks and damage hydroelectric and drinking water filtration infrastructure.
The economic impacts of aquatic invasive species is estimated to be $43 million per year. There would also be additional impacts on commercial, recreational or subsistence fisheries.
In the pilot program’s first year, the ISCBC provided 36 partners with a total of 174 new Clean Drain Dry (CDD) signs and an array of eye-catching and informative resources.
Those partners include ports and marinas, local stewardship groups, regional invasive species organizations, municipalities, resorts, campgrounds and Indigenous communities.
Through the first year of this multi-year project, CDD information and resources have been extended to more than 70 lakes, rivers, marinas, and even reservoirs, targeting multiple varieties of boaters and recreationists.
To learn more about provincial regulations and programs concerning invasive species, and how to always practice ‘Clean Drain Dry,’ visit CleanDrainDry.ca.