Watercraft Inspection Steward Programs provide free, voluntary boat inspections to recreational boaters and fisherman, and remove any animal or plant material that is found on the boat. Watercraft inspections help to minimize the amount of potentially invasive aquatic species from spreading into our waterways.
As stewards, crew members were trained to do voluntary boat inspections before the boats enter and after they exit the water, teach basic plant identification, and to answer any questions that boaters might have about aquatic invasive species. Our primary goal is to educate boaters, anglers, and all recreational users about aquatic invasive species and how clean boating practices can minimize their spread.
The AISF crew also participated in several tabling events to educate the public on aquatic invasive species impacts and identification skills.
Crew members participated in the Watercraft Inspection Steward Program at multiple launches in Croton-on-Hudson, Highland, Staatsburg, Esopus, Kingston, and Peekskill, New York. 89% of all boaters approached agreed to having their boat inspected, with less than 2% of inspections finding invasive plant hitchhikers. 50% of boaters engaged reported that they do not take preventative measures, such as following the Clean, Drain, and Dry protocol. The goal of this program is to educate boaters on how to conduct these preventative measures and inspect their own boats.
Between the Watercraft Inspection Steward Program and tabling, crew members:
• Spoke to more than 2,500 boaters, fishermen, and community members about AIS Spread Prevention
• Performed 1,080 boat inspections
• Spent 73 days at boat launches
• Created new educational materials
• Educated 16 lake association members