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BC organization piloting national Clean Drain Dry program

BC Premier John Horgan visited conservation officers at the mussel inspection station in Golden on June 12 2018. — Submitted photo

The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is partnering with the Canadian Council on Invasive Species to pilot a national Clean Drain Dry program across BC over the next three years.

ISCBC is launching a new pilot program in BC to develop and extend new Clean Drain Dry resources and materials. ISCBC will build on over ten years of experience partnering with marinas, boaters and paddlers to extend information about responsible actions to take to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

During this pilot new resources and signage, designed to educate boaters and recreational water users to do their part in preventing the spread of harmful aquatic invasive species, will be launched at dozens of locations around the province.

"Developing the Clean Drain Dry messaging and resources and sharing these on a national scale will help prevent aquatic invasive species from spreading within and across Canada’s provinces and territories," said Gail Wallin, Executive Director of ISCBC.

“We’re excited to pilot the new Clean Drain Dry program in our province and look forward to seeing more partners spreading the consistent Clean Drain Dry message to stop the spread of harmful invasive species like Zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and other aquatic invasives.”

Boats and other watercraft are a frequent method of invasive species entering key habitats such as lakes, streams and wetlands. With jurisdictions across North America struggling with the impacts of this aquatic invasion, the need for boaters and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts to pay attention and take action is growing. 

Clean Drain Dry encourages those using waterways, including lakes, rivers, oceans and streams to 'clean drain dry' all boats and equipment to help reduce the spread of invasive plants and organisms. Information is provided to boaters at boat launches, and materials are shared by local lakeside stewardship groups to reduce the spread of invasive plants and organisms.

As part of this pilot, communities, nonprofit organizations and other partners are being offered new resources, including brochures, online information and signage for boat launches, beaches and docks.

Users are encouraged to take action by ensuring they:

  • Clean off all plants, animals and mud from your boat and gear  
  • Drain all water from your boat, gear and equipment onto land 
  • Dry all parts of your boat and gear completely before launching into a new body of water.

The BC pilot of the new national Clean Drain Dry program will run for a three-year term, funded by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and under contract to the Canadian Council on Invasive Species. ISCBC will develop resources, signage and a social and digital media campaign designed to shift the behaviour of boaters and aquatic recreationists to encourage the practice of Clean, Drain and Dry of all watercraft and equipment. These resources will be available to other partners, organizations and the public across Canada.