New clean drain dry signs at the Kaslo Bay boat launch. (Photo submitted by Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society)

Regional non-profit organization part of a nationwide aquatic invasive species prevention program

The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) is participating in a nation-wide Clean Drain Dry program being piloted in B.C. by the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) and the Canadian Council on Invasive Species. The Clean Drain Dry (CDD) program is designed to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species through recreational pathways by increasing awareness about transporting invasive species and encouraging responsible behaviour, namely cleaning, draining and drying watercraft and gear.

In the pilot program’s first year, the ISCBC provided 36 partners with a total of 174 new CDD signs and an array of eye-catching and informative resources. Seven signs were provided to CKISS who co-ordinated installation at Scotties Marina in Castlegar, Beaver Creek Provincial Park in Trail, Wragge Beach Recreation site near Hills, Howser Creek Recreation Site, the New Denver Marina and the municipalities of New Denver and Kaslo.

“The marinas, recreation sites and municipalities that have agreed to install the Clean, Drain, Dry signs are demonstrating dedication to maintaining the health and sustainability of BC’s waterways. These partnerships foster increased support and public awareness for the prevention of aquatic invasive species,” said Laurie Frankcom, CKISS education program education co-ordinator.

What’s the big deal with invasive species? Introduced plants and animals that lack natural controls are bad news for lakes, streams, and wetlands. Take Eurasian watermilfoil for example: first detected within BC in 1970, it reduces biological diversity and decreases water quality by out-competing native plants for space and resources. Eurasian watermilfoil creates dense patches that result in stagnant water: the perfect breeding ground for pesky mosquitoes. Tangled mats of underwater strands can impact summer fun like swimming, boating, and fishing. The plant can also hit the pocketbook by clogging irrigation systems and drains, resulting in increased maintenance costs.

The best tool we have to protect our waters is prevention. Since invasive species can hitchhike on boats, trailers, fishing gear, life jackets, and other boat related equipment it is vital that all boaters are following the Clean, Drain, Dry steps when travelling between different bodies of water, even within B.C.

Clean off all plants, animals, mud,

• Drain onto dry land any item that can hold water,

• Dry all items completely before launching the watercraft into another body of water.

For more information, contact Laurie Frankcom, Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society, at 844.352.1160 ext. 207 or lfrankcom@ckiss.ca

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