DEEP: Governor Malloy Proclaims July 15-16 as the Second Annual Connecticut Clean, Drain, Dry Weekend

2017 Press Release
 
July 14, 2017
 
Governor Malloy Proclaims July 15-16 as the Second Annual Connecticut Clean, Drain, Dry Weekend
 
DEEP Staff will be at Six Boat Launches educating boaters about clean and safe boating practices

Connecticut will mark its second Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Weekend on
July 15-16 – as part of an effort to encourage boaters and others to take all steps necessary to prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals. Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is partnering with the Candlewood Lake Authority, and the Connecticut Federation of Lakes to promote this weekend.
 
DEEP staff will be at many boat launches throughout the state over the weekend including those at Lattins Cove and Squantz Cove on Candlewood Lake, Lake Zoar, Lake Lillinonah, Highland Lake, and Coventry Lake. They will be educating boaters about clean and safe boating practices and conducting Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspections. DEEP staff will be at the launches from approximately 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
 
In an Official Statement issued to officially designate the weekend, Governor Malloy
said, “Aquatic Invasive Species, including both plants and animals, are a serious threat to Connecticut’s waters as their presence reduces recreational opportunities, decreases real estate values and alters the natural ecosystem of waterbodies. DEEP urges all people enjoying the waters of our great state to become knowledgeable and take action against the threats posed by aquatic invasive species.”
 
Because of their ability to grow quickly and outcompete other species, many aquatic invasive plants form dense mats just under the water surface, which can be hazardous to recreational boaters and swimmers.  Zebra mussels, a problematic invader, has colonized in several lakes and ponds in Western Connecticut and needs to be kept from spreading further.
 
The Candlewood Lake Authority representing the towns of Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, and Sherman had student volunteers from the local schools stencil DEEP's logo of CLEAN-DRAIN-DRY at all of the town launches surrounding Candlewood Lake. 
 
The Connecticut Federation of Lakes will also assist with promoting the Clean, Drain, Dry methods and AIS awareness through social media and contacts within their membership.

Recommendations to boaters:
 
Before Leaving the Water:
  • Clean: inspect and remove aquatic plants and animals as well as mud or other debris from your vessel, equipment (including rods/reels), shoes, etc.  (As a reminder to boaters, it is illegal to transport aquatic plants and animals on your boat or trailer). 
  • Drain any water collected from that water body. For boats this means the bilge and associated equipment (buckets, coolers, live wells, etc.).
For vessels and other equipment - prior to your next use in another water body:
  • Dry for a minimum of 1 week in hot/dry weather or 4 weeks in cool/wet weather. 
             OR
  • Wash your boat and equipment with (1) hot, high pressure water, (2) salt water solution for 24 hours prior to rinsing, (3) 100% vinegar for 20 minutes prior to rinsing, or (4) wash with bleach or soap & water.
Do not to return live bait into the water, including salt water, unless it was caught there. Instead, freeze it for a future fishing trip or give it to a fisherman at the site.
 
For more information about aquatic invasive species, visit www.ct.gov/deep/invasivespecies.  To get a voluntary AIS inspection on your vessel, please visit one of our state boat launches or contact Gwendolynn Flynn at gwendolynn.flynn@ct.gov.