The State Legislature has approved a measure directing the Department of Environmental Conservation to design and post at public boat launches a universal sign warning of the threat of aquatic invasive species. Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec are sponsors of the legislation.
“The importance of public education cannot be overstated in the fight against aquatic invasive species,” said Senator Little. “Key to that effort is a consistent message, both in terms of what the threat is and what steps boaters should take to protect our waterways. Posting signs that are informative and convey to boaters their responsibility will help prevent the spread of invasives and save tax dollars in the long run.”
“I am pleased that we are continuing to reinforce the importance of education to boaters that address key preventive measures that will avoid the spread of invasive species into our waterways,” said Assemblyman Stec.
The legislation requires the DEC, within one year of the effective date of the law, to conspicuously post or provide for the posting of a universal sign of not less than eighteen inches by twenty-four inches at each public boat launch site in the state.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS), such as zebra mussels, asian clams and hydrilla, pose a serious threat to the ecosystems and economies of the communities around lakes, rivers and other bodies of waters.
Management of AIS, which includes mechanical, physical, chemical or biological control, is very costly. The best defense of AIS is to prevent the further spread of these species through education.
The bill passed the Assembly on June 17 and Senate on June 19. The bill will be returned from the Senate to the Assembly before being sent to the governor for consideration.