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 1,814 boats at the Port of Rochester – speaking with over 4,000 people! Invasive species that were prevented from being further spread in Lake Ontario included spiny water fleas, zebra mussels, and curly pondweed.
If you are interested in becoming a boat steward for the summer of 2020 stay tuned for more information soon.
Spiny Waterflea (Bythotrephes longimanus) and Curly-Leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), two invasive species commonly transported across waterbodies by attaching to uncleaned boats.