Watercraft Steward Program
The District and the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services partner with the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FLPRISM, http://fingerlakesinvasives.org/) to provide watercraft stewards every summer to conduct invasive species inspections on boat launches in the county. Stewards inspect boats before and after they are launched to make sure that invasive animal and plant species are not being brought by the boat into the water. Our stewards play an important role in preventing invasive species from damaging Lake Ontario, and educating the public as to what they can do to protect our waters.
Last year our stewards were able to inspect 3,714 boats at the Port of Rochester and Ayrault Road launches – speaking with nearly 6,500 people! Invasive species that were prevented from being further spread in Lake Ontario included spiny water fleas, zebra mussels, and curly pondweed.
Check out the graphs to the right to see the valuable data collected last year thanks to our stewards.
The following links detail the duties of boat stewards, what you should do if you see a boat steward, details on all launches in Monroe County and invasive species that have been found present at some launches:
AIS Management Plan and Boat Steward Information: Boat Steward Info
Resources for Boat Launch Owners: Owner Resources
Monroe County Boat Launch Sites: Launch Sites
Spiny Waterflea (Bythotrephes longimanus) and Curly-Leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), two invasive species commonly transported across waterbodies by attaching to uncleaned boats.