For Immediate Release: Contact: Elliott Engen, Public Services Coordinator EEngen@WildlifeForever.org White Bear Lake, MN– Aquatic Invasive Species are serious threats that compromise lakes and rivers and endanger public health. Boat ramps are the point of entry where invasives begin wreaking havoc as they attach to unsuspecting trailers, boats, and gear. Wildlife Forever’s Clean Drain Dry Initiative has made it their mission to educate the public and develop infrastructure to help recreational users clean equipment and prevent future spread of invasive species. “Now is the time to support strategic and unified action from our state and federal leaders. Cleaning stations and modernized signage is proven to be effective in decreasing invasives spread,” said Pat Conzemius, President and CEO of Wildlife Forever.
“Most public accesses are completely void of AIS prevention infrastructure. Signage is often decades old and completely overlooked. Installing infrastructure that engages public users through user-led prevention and best practices is the only sustainable way to prevent invasive spread,” said Elliott Engen, Public Service Coordinator for Wildlife Forever.
Until recently, access-based cleaning equipment and tools were not available or being used by resource managers. A lack of cleaning infrastructure has long been the main reason invasives continue to spread from lake to lake, then state to state. Wildlife Forever’s access-based Infrastructure Enhancement Protocol (IEP) provides site-specific cleaning equipment, user-led instructions, and cohesive signage to guide even the novice boater through the Clean Drain Dry prevention steps. Through a strategic and phased approach to evaluate accesses, messages and prevention tools are implemented to help users inspect and clean their gear.
The Clean Drain Dry Initiative is a national public service and awareness coalition working with industry and state and federal resource managers to educate the public on the threats of invasive species and best practices for prevention. Through multimedia and a nationally coordinated public service campaign, prioritizing on-the-ground tools and watercraft cleaning infrastructure closes an important gap in protecting America’s waters. Visit www.CleanDrainDry.org for more details.
About Wildlife Forever: Our mission is to conserve America’s outdoor heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and science-based management of fish and wildlife. Wildlife Forever is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to investing resources on the ground. Recent audits reveal that 96% of every dollar supports our award-winning conservation programs. Join Today and learn more about the Art of Conservation® programs, Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ and Prairie City USA® at www.WildlifeForever.org.