Clean Boats Campaign

Clean Boats Campaign

You Can Help Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers

By visiting this page, you are already part of the solution. It only takes a few minutes to inspect and clean your boat and other equipment each time you leave the water. Knowing how to do this properly will save time and ensure that your efforts protect our waters from plants and animals that don’t belong. This site will teach you everything you need to know to protect your lakes and streams from harmful aquatic hitchhikers.

Clean Boats Mean Healthy Waters
The connection between cleaning your boat and protecting your waters is clear. Aquatic invasives are plants and animals that don’t belong in our waters and cause a lot of damage. Many invasives arrive via international shipping or the pet trade, and are then unknowingly spread by boaters and anglers between waterways.

Safe from the predators and diseases of their native habitat, they reproduce uncontrolled. Once established, aquatic invasives can cause many problems. They can:

  • Reduce game fish and other native wildlife populations
  • Ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment
  • Make lakes and rivers unusable by boaters and swimmers
  • Increase the operating costs of drinking water and power plants
  • Affect human health
  • Reduce property values

Overall, non-native species cost the U.S. $127 billion each year.

In most cases, the best way to manage aquatic invasives is to halt their spread into new areas. That’s why cleaning your equipment every time you leave the water is so important.

How to Clean All Recreational Equipment Properly
With a few simple steps, you can protect your favorite fishing and boating spots from an unwanted invasion.

Clean Boats Campaign Radio PSA
Download and listen to our radio Public Service Announcement.

The Izaak Walton League of America
Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League is one of the nation's oldest and most respected conservation organizations. With a powerful grassroots network of 40,000 members and nearly 300 local chapters nationwide, the League takes a common-sense approach toward protecting our country's natural heritage and improving outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans. We invite you to learn about our work and to join us in supporting important conservation initiatives in your community. For more information about our efforts to restore the Great Lakes, please click Restore Our Great Lakes.

For more information about keeping your boats clean, click How to Clean Boat Equipment.


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Izaak Walton League of America
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