Don’t Let Invasive Species Hitch A Ride On Your Boat

invasive species preventionIn 2016, about 13.8% of the U.S population above age six participated in water sports. That number is rising year by year and leisure boating is among the most popular water sports. Freshwater and saltwater alike, there are vast aquatic territories we drive over unaware of the potential ecological risk factors.

Invasive species prevention is probably not the first thing you think of when hopping on the boat to go wakeboarding, but it’s important to address. After your time on the water is done, your boat runs the risk of carrying invasive species to new environments they can overrun.

Called invasive because they dominate ecosystems and rapidly cause ecological imbalance, they can hitch a ride with your boat without you being aware. Then, when you go boating in another body of water, they’re free to, well, invade. We’ve got some invasive species prevention tips that’ll keep the unwanted spread of would-be invaders at bay.

Flush it

Your engine takes on a hefty amount of water while in use. Apart from this being important to the longevity of your boat’s motor, that interior water can be home to any number of invasive organisms. Keep your engine in good order and flush the risk of invasive tagalongs at the same time.

Rinse off

The easiest to do and most easily forgotten piece of invasive species prevention is simply rinsing the exterior of your boat. After a day of boating, take the few minutes required and give your boat a bath. This ensures the part that contacts the water the most is cleaned off from potential malicious microbes, etc.

Standing water

Little known fact: when boating, water is going to get in your boat. It’s often left to pool up and subsequently ignored. Don’t ignore that standing water, because any water that is brought with you has the potential to spread something invasive living in the bottom of your undrained boat pool. Drain it and dry it out; don’t leave your boat gross.

Beyond wakesurfing and wakeboarding tips, we’re looking out for our aquatic ecosystems, too. While we’re out on the water having a grand ‘ol time, the least we could do is keep an eye on how we’re treating environments gracious enough to host us.