The Finger Lakes Region is known for its beautiful waterways, and the recreational opportunities that accompany them are numerous. Boating with family and friends, fishing, or simply enjoying the scenery are great ways to pass the summer days. I encourage residents and visitors alike to consider exploring the Finger Lakes and other nearby waterways by taking a canal tour, renting a boat, or while enjoying a leisurely dinner cruise. While enjoying these natural treasures, we must also be good stewards so future generations can enjoy them as well.
One challenge in our region, and in many other parts of the state, is the presence of aquatic invasive species (AIS). When boats and other watercraft are transported from one body of water to another they sometimes carry with them non-native life forms that could disrupt water systems. The threat of these ecosystem disruptions has spawned several initiatives aimed at combating the unwanted spread of AIS.
COMBATING INVASIVE SPECIES PRESERVES NATURE, SAVES MONEY
According to the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association, attempting to neutralize an invasive species after it is introduced could cost millions of dollars, and in some cases the invasive species cannot be eradicated. Protect Your Waters, an online resource aimed at protecting waterways, offers the following suggestions:
- Remove any visible mud, plants, fish or animals before transporting equipment.
- Eliminate water from equipment before transporting.
- Clean and dry anything that contacted water (boats, trailers, equipment, clothing, dogs, etc.).
- Never release plants, fish or animals into a body of water unless they came out of that body of water.
PRACTICE SAFETY FIRST
The region’s lakes offer numerous opportunities for fun; however, the safety and well-being of those participating in lakefront activities is paramount. Be sure to consult the New York State Boater's Guide or consider a New York State boating safety course prior to boating. And please refrain from drinking alcohol while operating any watercraft.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at email@example.com and find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.