The American Boat and Yacht Council's Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Project Technical Committee was presented with the 2018 Special Recognition Award by the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) at the 32nd Annual Boating Access Conference in Duluth, Minn.
Each year, SOBA recognizes individuals, organizations or groups who significantly contribute to the development, protection and safety of recreational boating.
“ABYC was presented with this award for their leadership in publishing a technical report to minimize the spread of AIS which benefits the entire boating community,” said Libby Yranski SOBA executive director. “This ABYC committee brought together so many different segments of the industry and showed the true strength of what partnerships look like.”
The technical information report provides guidance on the design and construction of boats, trailers, engines, components, and accessories in order to minimize the spread of AIS.
Given the growing threat to recreational boating from AIS, the report is critical to helping curb the issue, providing best practices and recommendations for manufacturers as well as information on how to educate boaters and customers.
“Developing the AIS technical report was a great collaborative effort between the boating industry and the resource management community,” said Brian Goodwin ABYC technical director. “The result is a tool to aid boat builders and the rest of the industry in creating products that not only help reduce the spread of AIS but also improve the overall boating experience.”
AIS can damage ecosystems and negatively impact fishing by depleting natural food resources, altering the water environment, and changing the structure of the ecosystem.
The impact of AIS has already resulted in the limiting of boat access to many aquatic resources throughout North America, the closure of public boat ramps, and the reduction of availability for fishing and boating across the United States.
AIS infestation can also often result in serious damage to boats and their components. Invasive plant life can foul propellers, jam impellors and cause bilge pump failure.
Mussels can attach to boats and negatively affect performance, attach to engines causing component failure, and obstruct water lines causing system failure.
Download the AIS technical information report here.