NH LAKES and the Lake Sunapee Protective Association Team Up Helping Boaters Protect Our Lakes from Invasive Species

Concord, N.H., June 29, 2023 – With boating season in full swing, NH LAKES and the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) have joined forces to help boaters prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species at Lake Sunapee.

In addition to placing 700 Lake Host courtesy boat inspectors at boat ramps throughout the state to meet and greet boaters and help them hand-remove invasive plant fragments trying to hitchhike into and out of waterbodies, NH LAKES partners with local communities to provide a best-tech approach to help boaters prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals. Thanks to the support of LSPA and the cooperation of the New Hampshire Department of Parks and Recreation, NH LAKES’ watercraft cleaning station will be available for boaters to use, free of charge, at the Sunapee State Beach boat ramp until July 17.

“We are so fortunate that Lake Sunapee remains free of invasive species thanks to the diligence of Lake Hosts and responsible boaters,” states Elizabeth Harper, LSPA’s Executive Director. “We are happy to partner with NH LAKES to bring the unit back to Sunapee for the 4th year.”

While it is difficult for boaters to manually clean, drain, and dry out every last drop of water from their boats, trailers, and gear, the NH LAKES’ Clean, Drain, Dry & Dispose Unit provides tools and equipment that help boaters remove invasive plant fragments and drops of water that may contain invasive animals from hard to reach areas.

Invasive plants and animals degrade the health of our lakes and make them dangerous to recreate in. They are difficult and expensive to manage, and almost impossible to get rid of once firmly established in a waterbody. The main way they spread from waterbody to waterbody is by hitching a ride on boats, trailers, and gear that have not been properly cleaned, drained, and dried between uses.

Thanks to the efforts of Lake Hosts, the rate of invasive plant spread between waterbodies in New Hampshire has decreased over the past decade. However, the spread of invasive animals, particularly the Asian clam and the Chinese mystery snail, has been on the rise. The main way invasive animals spread is by hitchhiking while in their microscopic larval form trapped in drops of water in boat motors, bilges, ballast tanks and bags, and other compartments that hold water. It is difficult for Lake Hosts and boaters to remove all standing water without special tools.

“More needs to be done to help boaters prevent the spread of invasive species, particularly invasive animals. We’ve deployed our watercraft cleaning unit to help,” explains Andrea LaMoreaux, NH LAKES President. “Boaters can use the high-pressure blower, scrub brush, long-handled pickers, and the vacuum to suck up any water that hasn’t already drained out. It is easy and free to use any time of day–it even has outdoor lights. And it only takes about five minutes per boat.”

To find out more about NH LAKES watercraft cleaning station, click here.

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