The PBWOA was awarded a grant of almost $1700 from the Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters program with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding. We requested the grant to promote the Clean Boats, Clean Waters message during two scheduled Boater Safety Classes, one of which will be sponsored by the PBWOA on May 14th at the Portage Yacht Club. It is seen as a way to educate young boaters about the reasons for the requirement that boats are cleaned, drained and dried to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species. We plan to review the current invasive weeds in our Huron River Chain of Lakes (Eurasian water milfoil, starry stonewort, curly leaf pondweed and flowering rush) as well as known invasive species found in neighboring lakes such as European Frog Bit. Aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels, red swamp crayfish and New Zealand snails will also be reviewed, with a focus on the disposal of all bait and the draining of all boat water. Participants will receive a tote bag with the Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters logo filled with cleaning supplies (towels& sponges,) key floats, flashlights, bait bags and the Handbook of Michigan Boating Laws and Responsibilities.
The Award will also be used to purchase a “Decontamination Station” to be installed by the DNR at the Portage Boat Access Site. The 48”X48”inch sign was designed for boat launch sites that cannot accommodate an electric, high-pressure water boat wash. The site will provide tools, such as brushes, drain plug wrench, and bait disposal bags. Again, the goal is to encourage boaters of all types (including kayakers and canoers) to assure that they are not carrying any invasive species with them to our lakes or others. We will be hosting an event at the Portage BAS on McGregor Rd. to introduce the new station later in the summer. Stay tuned for details on our website (PBWOA.org) or Facebook.