VT Strong news MONTPELIER, VT: Vermont State Parks report 10.05.2019 State forest health officials and staff at Vermont State Parks are joining forces with the public to help stop the threat of aquatic invasive species at state parks. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native species whose introduction to Vermont’s waters can cause harm to the environment, economy, and even human health. The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) is leading a new effort to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species at state parks located on lakes and ponds. This work is currently underway and includes placing new educational signage about the threat of AIS at boat launches and contact stations and training park staff as ambassadors to combat AIS.

FPR is providing handouts to park visitors about the Clean.Drain.Dry. campaign to stop the spread of AIS. For most aquatic invasive species, humans are the primary vector of transport from one waterbody to another. Many of these nuisance plants and animals can be unknowingly carried on fishing gear, boating equipment, or in very small amounts of water in a watercraft. The easiest and most effective means to ensure that you are not moving aquatic invasives is to make sure that your vessel, as well as all your gear, is cleandrained, and dry. The work also includes the development of outreach kits that can be used not only by park staff, but by schools, nature centers, and anyone interested in spreading the word to their communities about the threat of AIS. These kits are available through a tool loan program at FPR offices in Essex and Rutland. 

This work is made possible through a grant from the State of Vermont, Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The project is expected to be completed by December 2019. 

To learn more about AIS and what you can do to stop the spread, visit www.VTinvasives.org/get-involved/slow-spread/clean-drain-dry.