In the News  Archive

Boat Law Adds to Invasive Controls

Times Union
September 2, 2014

By Casey Seiler

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation requiring boat owners to use "reasonable precautions" to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The steps include cleaning, draining and drying the boat and trailer of visible plant and animal matter after pulling vessels out of the water.

Under the new law, first offenses would result in a written warning, while subsequent violations could prompt fines starting at $250 and topping out at $1,000.

In recent years, Lake George has been a major battleground in the war on invasive species such as the Asian clam, zebra mussels and spiny water fleas.
A new mandatory boat inspection system was launched in May at six launch sites around the lake thanks to support from state, federal and local support.

Eric Siy, executive director on the Fund for Lake George, said the program had inspected more than 14,000 boats since coming on line.

He praised the new law, but expressed disappointment that it won't go into effect for a year, and includes a "sunset" provision that repeals it on June 1, 2019.

"This is a crisis — that's not hype; that's based on our experiences in Lake George," Siy said.
He emphasized that the legislation needs to be backed up by sufficient inspection and decontamination resources.

"We built a fort on Lake George, but we are under siege," Siy said.

The League of Conservation Voters and the Adirondack Council praised the signing, and hoped to see additional support for the effort in the coming legislative session.

In a statement, Cuomo said the legislation "helps ensure that all who enjoy New York's waters will also do their part to limit the spread of different types of aquatic life that would otherwise harm the local ecosystem."

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