Boat and Trailers

Photo provided by NYSDEC

Boaters and Marina Owners

All types of watercraft have the potential to spread hydrilla and other aquatic invasive species (AIS)! This includes canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, personal watercraft, motor boats and sailboats.

It is more important than ever to follow clean boating practices to ensure the protection of our waterbodies. Boaters and marina owners are a key link in stopping the spread of hydrilla and other aquatic invasive species (AIS) from infested areas to uninfested areas. It is essential that marina staff and boaters are aware of the precautions to take while boating. Marina owners are encouraged to consider building a simple plant disposal stationfor any vegetation and debris removed during the cleaning process. View the letter sent to marina owners by New York State Department of Environmental Conversation (NYSDEC) Division of Water.


Recently Adopted Regulations

A New 6 NYCRR Part 576 is added in Chapter V, Subchapter C 

The purpose of this proposed regulation is to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

This regulation appeared in the State Register on May, 25 2016 and became effective the same day.

Questions and Answers Pertaining to This Regulation

1.When do the regulations become effective?
The Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention regulations become effective immediately upon publication of the final rule in the State Register May 25, 2016.

2.What waterbodies are included?These regulations apply to all public waterbodies. Public waterbodies are defined as all waters within the state, public or private, except those private waters which do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface waters, which are wholly or partially within or bordering the state.

3.Are private and public launches included?
Yes, the regulations apply to both private and public launches on public waterbodies within the state.

4.What constitutes a watercraft or floating dock?A watercraft means every motorized or non-motorized boat, vessel or vehicle capable of being used or operated as a means of transportation or recreation in or on water. A floating dock means a removable buoyant platform supported by floating devices or suspended over the surface of a waterbody by anchors or other devices.

5.Who do these regulations apply to?These Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention regulations apply to all watercraft and floating dock operators on public waterbodies.

6.What actions are required by the watercraft operator?The purpose of these regulations is to establish reasonable precautions, such as removing visible plant or animal matter, washing, draining or drying that must be taken by persons launching watercraft or floating docks into public waterbodies to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Material removed should be disposed of in a proper receptacle or upland location.

7.Are there any exemptions to the regulations?The prohibitions included in 576.3 do not apply to any watercraft and associated equipment or floating dock that is re-launched from a launch site into a public waterbody, within the bounds of any permanent barrier that was removed from the same launch site without having been launched into any other waterbody.


Help stop the spread of this highly invasive aquatic plant species by following the simple steps below!

What Boaters Can Do to Stop the Spread of Hydrilla & Other AIS!

  • Boats should be cleaned before they go in the water and immediately after they are taken out. Remove all plant/animal fragments, mud and debris by hand
  • Boat trailers need to be carefully inspected, especially for material trapped between the boat and trailer, inside any open tubing on the trailers, around taillights and license plates
  • Remove and dispose of all vegetation in a trash can, plant disposal station or well away from the water
  • Allow boats/trailers/equipment to fully air dry (5 days or more) so any hidden plants will completely dry out between boating in different bodies of water
  • When cleaning boats/equipment, be sure to use ecologically friendly cleaners (biodegradable and phosphate-free, with no harsh chemicals or herbicides). Natural cleaners such as vinegar or baking soda can be used. Alternatively, boats can be taken to the nearest car wash where a pressure washing wand can be used
  • Bilges, drop keels, live wells and anything else on the boats that can retain water should be drained, dried, and cleaned before moving to another water body

What Marina Owners Can Do to Stop the Spread of Hydrilla & Other AIS!

  • Make sure all boaters and customers understand the importance of clean boating practices
  • Boat yards should avoid draining directly back into water bodies. Setting up silt curtains, hay bales or similar features to capture any plant material while water filters off site
  • If the boat yard is doing repairs and has to repeatedly put the boat in and out of the water, lifts/trailer/equipment should be checked and cleaned each time they are used
  • Consider building plant disposal stations, and make sure your boaters/customers know where they are and how to use them
  • Marina staff should participate in invasive species identification training sessions. This will help keep staff, and thus boaters/customers, informed on the current status of hydrilla and other AIS

Last updated September 14, 2020