With the unofficial start of summer last weekend, people are getting outside to enjoy the sunshine and warmth that Vermont has to offer. When it’s hot like it was for Memorial Day, what better way to cool off than jumping into the lake or meandering in a kayak down the river.
If you do use a watercraft to get out on the water, there is a possibility you could have unwanted travelers attached to your watercraft. Aquatic invasive species are an issue in Vermont. Aquatic plants like Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, European frogbit, and others, along with aquatic animals like zebra mussels and spiny waterflea create unwanted problems for both boaters and the natural ecosystem.
To prevent and slow the spread of these invasive plants and animals, volunteers for the Vermont Public Access Boat Greeter Program are stationed at different lakes and ponds around the state.
The goal of the Public Access Boat Greeter Program is to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by educating boaters about the harmful effects of invasive species, and steps that can be taken to prevent spread; They also provide courtesy boat inspections to stop invasive species introductions.
Since 2002 the Vermont Public Access Boat Greeter Program has expanded to 24 locally-run programs and 7 state parks covering 32 launches on 26 lakes and ponds.
If you see a greeter in their yellow shirt be sure to say hello and thank them for their diligence in protecting Vermont waters from invasive pests!