GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (WFRV) – This holiday weekend, tens of thousands of boaters will take to the waters here in Wisconsin. And many environmental groups will meet them at the launching ramps, to ensure the safety of these waterways.
At the Green Bay Metro Boat Launch – vital information is shared with boaters. Educators like Megan Weller, who seek to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
“We all come here, we make sure boaters clean their boats, educate people about aquatic invasive species,” Weller said.
Weller works for the DNR and is one of hundreds of educators who visit boat launches statewide over the next five days.
“There are clean boats on Lake Winnebago today, in Milwaukee County, in Waukesha County,” Weller said.
For the Annual Landing Blitz – promoting the Clean Boats, Clean Waters statewide campaign, highlighting the importance of keeping boats clean, preventing aquatic hitchhikers like Zebra Mussels and Eurasian Watermilfoil.
“So we’re not bringing any invasive species into other lakes, making sure we can all enjoy recreational waters and fishing for years to come,” Weller said.
Surveys show that most boaters remove plants, mud and other debris from their boats when they come out of the water. But Weller says it doesn’t hurt to remind them.
“I think that’s great. Many invasive species have spread in all kinds of different streams over the past 10 to 15 years,” said boater Bret Alexander.
The message is simple: When you get out of the water, inspect your boat and trailer, remove any aquatic plants, and drain the water from the livewells and engine. Easy steps that John Van Beek has been following for years.
“If you go to another body of water, the last thing you want to do is contaminate it with an invasive species. It destabilizes the whole system, ”said boater Van Beek.
So, the reason for Weller’s mission to Green Bay, reminding boaters that they all have a role to play, protecting the waters of Wisconsin.
For the third year, the Wisconsin campaign is also aligned with the Great Lakes Landing Blitz.