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Great Lakes Clean Boat Initiative
October 2007

(printer-friendly PDF, 58Kb)


One of the goals of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (GLRC) is to stop the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Because people from many walks of life play a role in preventing the introduction and spread of AIS, education and outreach to various user groups is critical.

The Great Lakes are one of the top recreational boating destinations in the nation. Nearly 4.3 million boats are registered in the eight Great Lakes states. These boaters spend nearly $16 billion on boats and boating activities in a single year, directly supporting 107,000 jobs. Outreach efforts to this user group can help ensure a healthy Great Lakes ecosystem, as well as help support a strong and sustainable recreational economy. The proposed “Great Lakes Clean Boat Initiative” would promote these goals.  

Proposed Activities

Develop a compilation of outreach materials directed toward recreational boaters.
A great deal of outreach materials has already been developed by GLRC partners. This effort would capitalize on previous efforts and consolidate available information in one place. Information would address: the risks of AIS transfer by recreational boats, self-inspection methods, locations of boat wash facilities, how to create new boat wash facilities, local regulations, etc. 

 Hold a basin-wide Great Lakes Clean Boat Day to celebrate Great Lakes environmentally-sound recreational boating.
GLRC partners will contribute efforts according to their agencies’ mission and resources. The highlight of this effort will be a “Great Lakes Clean Boat Day,” to take place early in the 2008 boating season, which will be promoted by GLRC partners and the media.

 Proposed Schedule

  • Inventory existing recreational boating material from existing educational campaigns, possibly including Sea Grant’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point program, U.S. FWS/ANS Task Force’s Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers campaign, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council/Sea Grant/U.S. FWS Habitattitude campaign, the Great Lakes Forever campaign, the Shedd Aquarium’s Listen to Your Lakes Campaign, and Michigan Sea Grant’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program.  (October - December 2007).
  • Make final compilation of materials publicly available.  (December 2007 - February 2008).
  • Identification of a single day (ideally) can be early in the boating season (June/July) that works for as many GLRC partners as possible for holding a basin-wide “Great Lakes Clean Boat Day” (January 2008)
  • Inventory of possible activities to support Great Lakes Clean Boat Day, including press release, media events, user group events, corporate sponsors, posting of new signs at access points, volunteer cleaning support, etc. (January - March 2008).
  • Engage with relevant user groups to enlist their support for and participation in Great Lakes Clean Boat Day.  Groups to reach out to could include Boat U.S., the Boating Industries Association, Izaak Walton League, Clean Marina programs, Clean Boats, Clean Waters Programs, etc.  (January 2008 - Great Lakes Clean Boat Day).
  • Develop outreach strategy to notify recreational boaters of Great Lakes Clean Boat Day and associated information.  (February - May 2008). 
  • Develop talking points and other messaging for Great Lakes Clean Boat Day.  (March 2008).
  • Hold “Great Lakes Clean Boat Day” early in the boating season (June/July 2008).  Partner with boating and yacht associations through Sea Grant and others as appropriate to promote participation and awareness.

Round goby
Photo credit: Copyright Center for Great Lakes and Aquatic Sciences

Last updated: August 22, 2007

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