###Contact: Dave White, NY Sea Grant, 315-312-3042 Photo: New York Sea Grant Recreation & Tourism Specialist Dave White (left), and John Jackson, Marathon Boat Group, are seen here with the 2011 Discover Clean & Safe Boating Exhibit fishing boat. The exhibit will provide information from the national Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers project; the 16-foot "made in New York" Grumman Oneida will be equipped with the gear required and recommended for clean & safe boating on NY waters.
Exhibit will travel to boat shows and events statewide Cicero, N.Y. - New York Sea Grant, the Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York (BIA), and Marathon Boat Group have announced that clean and safe boating and how boaters, anglers and other water recreation users can prevent and slow the spread of aquatic invasive species in New York waters will be the focus of the 2011 Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign. The announcement was made at the BIA's December 9th meeting in Cicero, NY. "We are excited to travel through the Great Lakes region to talk with the diverse types of groups and individuals about clean and safe boating and the opportunity they have to make a positive impact on the spread of aquatic invasive species by following easy-to-implement practices," says campaign developer and New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. Marathon Boat Group has donated the use of a 16-foot, made-in-New-York Grumman Oneida fishing boat to be the 2011 Discover Clean & Safe Boating vessel. The boat will be equipped with the gear required and recommended for boating on New York waters and will provide boaters and anglers with information on how they can cope with and control the spread of invasive species. "The 2010 Discover Clean and Safe Boating Campaign was a new program for Marathon Boat Group. We are pleased to return in 2011 to help New Yorkers learn how to enjoy our fabulous boating waters by following good practices to protect themselves and the marine environment," says Marathon Boat Group CEO John Jackson. The first event for the 2011 Discover Clean and Safe Boating vessel will be the February 16-20, 2011 Central New York Boat Show (http://www.cnyboatshow.com/boatshow/) at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Marina, marine manufacturer and marine services providers attended the BIA December meeting. BIA President John Jablonski, owner of The Sailboat Shop in Skaneateles, NY, said, "The Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York is pleased to partner with the Discover Clean and Safe Boating program because our member businesses are all about making boating safer and more enjoyable in ways that also protect the quality of our boating waters." New York Sea Grant's Invasive Species Team Leader Charles "Chuck" O'Neill chairs the New York State Invasive Species Advisory Committee. O'Neill says, "The 2011 Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign is the type of collaborative public outreach that puts a spotlight on vectors of aquatic invasive species introduction, prevention, early detection, rapid response measures, and long-term management and control - all of which can help reduce the cost of coping with invasive species in New York State." O'Neill, who manages the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse at http://nyis.info, defines an invasive species as a species that is not native to the ecosystem of interest and is likely to cause harm to the economy, environment or human health in that area. He says Cornell University estimates that $120 billion is spent annually nationwide on aquatic and land invasive species programs. In 2005, the New York State Invasive Species Task Force reported an annual expenditure of approximately one-half million dollars to control Sea Lampreys in the Great Lakes. For more info on the 2011 Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign, contact White at New York Sea Grant, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126, 315-312-3042, or visit www.nysgextension.org. # Additional Notes: The New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse at http://nyis.info is a collaborative effort by New York Sea Grant, the New York Invasive Species Research Institute, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program. Information on more than two dozen aquatic invasive species is posted online at http://nyis.info. Look there for details on "Killer" and bloody red (hemimysis) shrimp, gribbles, Chinese mitten crab, round and monkey goby, rudd, spiny water flea, Asian and green clams, invasive mussels and more. The 2011 Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign's major sponsors are New York Sea Grant, the Boating Industries Association of Upstate NY, and Marathon Boat Group. Additional sponsors are providing space at boat shows and other events statewide and items for the exhibit's boating & boat education prize wheel. An invasive species is defined as a species that is not native to the ecosystem of interest and is likely to cause harm to the economy, environment or human health in that area. Aquatic invasive species can: * Reduce native species and game fish populations * Damage boat engines and steering equipment * Make lakes and rivers unusable by boaters and swimmers * Increase operating costs of drinking water and power plants, dams, & industrial processes * Degrade ecosystems and reduce property values * Impact the local economies of waterfront communities. Boaters and anglers can take easily-implemented steps to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species in New York waters. The 2011 Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign will help educate them on the "how-to." More info: Discover Clean & Safe Boating Campaign: Dave White, NY Sea Grant, 315-312-3042; Invasive Species: http://nyis.info, Chuck O'Neill, NY Sea Grant, 585-395-2638; http://www.nysgextension.org/.