Wildlife Forever to Build National Mapping Tool for Improved Access to Invasive Species Decontamination Locations

For Immediate Release

Contact: Zach Burnside ZBurnside@WildlifeForever.org

White Bear Lake, MN – Wildlife Forever and a coalition of fishing industry stakeholders and federal partners will be designing a new online platform to identify watercraft inspection and decontamination stations across the country. In addition, the new website will feature state-specific aquatic invasive species information for boaters traveling across multiple states. This national resource aims to centralize information for traveling boaters and supports AIS objectives of the newly introduced MAPWaters Act.

“Bring together key allies in the fishing industry and our state and federal partners to create a go-to resource that helps boaters and anglers understand where, when, and how to clean and decontaminate boats will greatly help protect our nation’s waters,” said Pat Conzemius, President & CEO, Wildlife Forever.

In many western states, it is required that traveling boaters stop at roadside decontamination stations. Travelers unfamiliar with varying state laws may accidentally bypass check stations or know where to go should their craft need decontamination. The new online platform will feature an interactive map of all decontaminations and provide hours of operation and relevant AIS information. The map will also list improved accesses that feature watercraft cleaning equipment specialized for day boaters.

“We are proud to be part of this project that serves to help boaters protect their equipment and our invaluable public waters. I’m encouraged to see this advance and hopefully become integrated with the new MAPWaters Act, aimed at improving public awareness and access to inspection and decontamination locations,” said Steven Bardin, Director of the MLF Fisheries Management Division.

“We are dedicated to protecting access to fishing and boating on our water resources. Creating this valuable tool will benefit boaters and agencies across the country,” said Zach Burnside, Wildlife Forever Invasive Species Program Coordinator.