DNR to educate boaters in annual ‘Landing Blitz’
MADISON - Clean Boats Clean Waters volunteers and Department of Natural Resources staff will be at boat launches throughout the state during the July 4 weekend helping boaters inspect their boats and learn the necessary steps to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species. The sixth annual “Landing Blitz” aims to educate and reward boaters for taking steps in preventing the spread of invasives such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water-milfoil.
“The Landing Blitz is always a great event for both boaters and our Clean Boats Clean Waters volunteers,” says Bob Wakeman, aquatic invasive species coordinator. “We’re happy to see it inspired Michigan to start their own Landing Blitz, which can only strengthen our joint efforts to stop the spread of invasive species. We would also like to thank all the volunteers over the years who have helped make this campaign successful.”
DNR anticipates another banner year that will hopefully encourage other states to blitz their lakes as well. The Landing Blitz uses the busiest weekend of the boating season, running from July 3 to 6, to educate boaters on steps they can take to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and highlights the role of the Clean Boats Clean Waters program in those efforts.
Boaters spotted already practicing the important prevention steps of "Inspect your boat, remove plants and animals, drain water from live wells and buckets and never move live fish" might be rewarded with a free “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” towels.
The Landing Blitz has grown steadily throughout its brief history. For example, ninety lakes participated in 2011. By 2013, the total grew to 290 lakes in 54 counties involving 167 participating groups such as lake associations, local and county governments, tribal entities and non-profit groups.
Clean Boats Clean Waters is a partnership between DNR, the University of Wisconsin Extension Lakes program in Stevens Point.