AIS Prevention

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Clean Boats Crew
Volunteer Program

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Recreational water use is one of the primary ways aquatic invasive species (AIS) spread. Over the decades, many invasive species have entered new Great Lakes habitats after sticking to boats, trailers, and other gear or hitching rides in bilges, live wells, and bait buckets. These invaders can hinder recreation, disrupt aquatic food webs, and block out sunlight needed by other species.

IISG is helping boaters, anglers, and other water users protect the Great Lakes region by boosting awareness of AIS and simple steps individuals can take to prevent their spread. In 2013, IISG launched a statewide program to reach Illinois recreational water users who might unknowingly spread these species from one water body to another. Be a Hero—Transport Zero™ will help address the spread of invasive species on land as well.

IISG is also a partner in the national campaign Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!™ and the Clean Boats Crew volunteer program. These programs provide boaters, anglers, and others with the information and tools they need to protect the Great Lakes and inland waterways from AIS. The Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers message is also being spread by Wildlife Forever, the ANS Task Force, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard.


image and link to Be a Hero-Transport Zero

Did you know that recreational water users include boaters, sailors, anglers, sea plane operators, waterfowl hunters, kayakers, canoeists, personal watercraft users, and scuba divers? It's a huge group of people. Most people will use a lake or river for recreation at some point in their lives.
Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers


Pat Charlebois
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator

Greg Hitzroth
Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Purdue University
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
University of Illinois Extensio
Sea Grant
Purdue University