Get Involved

Invasive Species Are Bad For Boaters:
Boating is one of the most popular recreational activities in the state.
Invasive organisms that are introduced through water recreation activities disrupt the ecosystem, interfere with recreation and damage watercraft and equipment.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) hitch a ride on recreational equipment to new locations. Most Michigan boaters want to help prevent the spread of AIS, however many are not familiar with the few simple steps to take.

Clean Boats, Clean Waters:
Volunteers play a crucial role in protecting Michigan’s water resources. Volunteer leaders teach adult and youth teams how to educate boaters about where they are most likely to find invasive species on their recreational watercraft and how to demonstrate that to others.

What Does a Volunteer Hero Look Like?
Clean Boats, Clean Waters is a volunteer education program designed to assist Michigan boaters with keeping their boats free of invasive species and to help protect their equipment and our waters from invaders.

As a volunteer hero, you will help prevent the spread of AIS by showing boaters how to inspect their boats, trailers and gear. You will be armed with information to share about inspecting boat hulls, live wells, props and other equipment for invasive species and to describe what to do if any are found.

If you care about Michigan’s waters and your lakes and streams, like to meet new people, want to stay informed, and are able to keep accurate records, then you may be just the hero we are looking for.

Inspect and remove any visible mud, plants, fish or animals before transporting your recreational equipment.

Bring the Fight to Them. Be a Volunteer Hero!
Inspect and remove any visible mud, plants, fish or animals before transporting your recreational equipment.
Drain water from equipment (boat, motor, trailer, live wells) before transporting it.
Wipe with a towel and air-dry equipment for at least five days.
Dispose of unwanted live bait in the trash.

Know The Law:
Michigan laws prohibit placing a boat, trailer, or other boating equipment into Michigan waters with plant material attached.
Also prohibited is possessing or transporting several live non-native fish and many non-native aquatic plants including: entire plants, fragments and seeds, as well as hybrids and genetically engineered variants; and any live transgenic (genetically engineered) organisms.

Required Actions – It’s the Law in Michigan!
Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment, and boat trailers before launching or placing in the water (MI NREPA Part 413 Sec. 41325).
Drain live wells, bilges and all water from boats before leaving the access site (MI DNR Fisheries Order 245).
Dispose of unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water (MI DNR Fisheries Order 245).
Don’t transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught (MI DNR Fisheries Order 245).
Disinfect livewells and bilges with bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons water).

Additional Recommended Actions – Protect Our Natural Resources!
Inspect and remove plants and mud from boats and trailers and dry equipment before leaving the access area. Dispose of the material in a trash receptacle or otherwise away from the water body, if possible.
Wash boats and trailers before leaving the access area if possible, at a nearby car wash, or at home.
Dry boats and equipment for at least 5 days before launching into a different body of water.

For more information on aquatic invasive species, visit