Managers Volunteers Partners

Watercraft Inspection Program

17,065 Inspections
39,697 Interactions


Boat stewards perform voluntary watercraft inspections to remove visible aquatic plants and animals from all types of watercraft at boat launches. This helps prevent the transport and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) both into and out of western New York. These programs are voluntary, and boaters do not have to participate if they choose not to. The stewards collect data on their interactions with boaters to better track the movement of AIS throughout the state. Additionally, stewards are responsible for public education and distributing educational materials at their respective launches.

Stewards are trained to correctly identify some of this region’s early detection priority species such as Hydrilla verticillata, Eichhornia crassipes, and Pistia stratiotes. Catching these species early before they become established saves money and limits environmental degradation.

*There may be other invasive species present at these launches, beyond what is listed above. We are currently working to map and confirm new reports.

Last summer across the state, steward programs conducted 155,000 inspections. This program is run in coordination with our many other partner boat steward programs throughout New York. Launch locations were strategically selected to maximize interactions with the public and focus on waterways most at risk of invasion.

If you’re interested in having a boat steward at a launch you manage next summer, contact Kristin King at [email protected].