Press Releases

Adirondack Council Applauds New Protections vs Invasive Species  

Boat Inspection, Decontamination Required Prior to Launch in the Adirondacks 

Friday, December 10, 2021 

ALBANY, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council today thanked Gov. Kathy Hochul for signing into law a bill sponsored by Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblyman Billy Jones, requiring motorized boats to be inspected for invasive plants and other harmful organisms prior to launch in Adirondack waters. 

“It took us a few years of coalition-building, but we are grateful to the Legislature and Governor Hochul for giving us the time to gain support for this legislation,” said William C. Janeway, Executive Director of the Adirondack Council. “We needed the last two summers to explain the benefits to the boating and angling communities. They heard us and agreed that these are reasonable protections. The bill then passed unanimously and the result is this excellent new safeguard for the Adirondack Park’s precious lakes and rivers.” 

The Legislature also approved important new education and outreach funding.   

The new law also makes permanent the New York State Aquatic Invasive Species Transport Act, which required boaters to take precautions like cleaning, draining, and drying their watercraft before launching in New York waters. That law had originally been temporary and was set to expire in 2019. It was extended twice by the Legislature so advocates could win support for this permanent measure. 

The new Adirondack Park inspection requirement will take effect in 180 days, or May of 2022, as the boating season begins.   

In the Adirondacks, the new law establishes protocols for ensuring compliance either through a tamperproof tag issued by inspectors at the state’s network of inspection stations around the Park, or via a state-designed self-certification. Regardless of the method, boaters must now verify that watercraft has been inspected and/or decontaminated to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.  

The bill was sponsored by Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Todd Kaminsky, D-Long Beach, and Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay. It had broad support among state and local officials. The ADK Common Ground Alliance supported passage too. 

Invasive aquatic plants and animals are among the leading causes of biodiversity loss in freshwater ecosystems. Non-native organisms also negatively impact recreational opportunities for swimming, fishing, and boating, which reduce property values, local tax rolls, and tourism dollars.
Once an invasive species establishes itself in new waters, it is very difficult to manage and eradicate. Some communities have spent millions of dollars combatting invasive species.
 
“This law doesn’t impose new penalties or create burdensome requirements for boaters,” said Willie Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council. “It establishes a user-friendly system to verify compliance with the clean, drain, dry requirements already established in law. It supports the existing boat wash and inspection stations to which the public has grown accustomed across the region.”    

Invasive species spread from one body of water to another through the overland transport of boating and fishing equipment and movement of live fish and baitfish. The Department of Environmental Conservation supports watercraft inspection stewards across the state to educate boaters about aquatic invasive species and inspect and decontaminate boats to ensure they meet the state’s “Clean, Drained, Dry” standards.   

Established in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. It is the largest environmental organization whose sole focus is the Adirondacks.  

The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy, and legal action. It envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, core wilderness areas, farms and working forests, and vibrant, diverse, welcoming communities. Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States. 

For more information: John Sheehan, Director of Communications, 518-441-1340 

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