NH LAKES Advocacy Alert!
November 21, 2015
Dear Lake Friend,
As an advocate of lakes, there are two things we need you to do:

1. By November 30: If you haven't already done so, complete the 2015-2016 Advocacy Survey.
By sharing your lake management and protection priorities with us, you will help direct our public policy and advocacy. It only takes a few minutes to fill out the survey and you can do it online by clicking here. (If you have already filled it out, THANK YOU!)

2. Help build support for our proposed aquatic invasive species prevention legislation!

Through State Representative Suzanne Gottling (Sunapee), we have submitted a legislative service request (LSR) which we anticipate will become a bill that will be heard during the 2016 New Hampshire Legislative Session. Under this proposal, all boaters in New Hampshire would be required to clean and drain their boat and trailer before launching into and after coming out of a waterbody to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

What are we talking about when we say ‘clean and drain?’ We assume that you know that NH LAKES has been promoting a message to all boaters that they should clean, drain, and dry their boats between waterbodies in order to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants and animals.

If we clean all vegetation off our boats, trailers, and other aquatic gear we can prevent plants - including invasive plants - from being transported between waterbodies.

But, the juvenile (or larval) form of some of our more nefarious invasive animals (like the Asian clam and zebra mussel) are not visible to the naked eye and they remain viable in standing water for days. Boaters must drain their boats (bait wells, live wells, bilges, motors, etc.) and, ideally, dry them (five days is the recommended best practice) to prevent invasive animals from hitchhiking their way around.

There are zebra mussels in Massachusetts and Vermont, Asian clams in Lake George (and southern New Hampshire) and, as of last count, 50 individual aquatic invasive species in Lake Champlain.

It is time for all boaters in New Hampshire to clean and drain their boats to help prevent invasive plants and animals from spreading and degrading our waters.

These are the specific objectives of our proposed legislation:
  • No person shall transport an aquatic weed or weed parts to or from any New Hampshire waters on the outside of a vehicle, boat, personal watercraft, trailer, or other equipment.
  • When leaving waters of the state, a person shall drain their boat and other water-related equipment, and drain live wells and bilges by opening valves or removing the drain plug, if the vessel is so equipped.
These provisions are designed to be inserted into NH RSA 487: CONTROL OF MARINE POLLUTION AND AQUATIC GROWTH. Our proposed statutory changes would require all boaters to clean their boats, trailers and aquatic gear and to drain them. (Please note that people are in general agreement that requiring dry boats is just not feasible due to environmental conditions that are beyond boaters’ control.)

Here's what you can do right now to help with this legislative effort: 
  1. Forward this NH LAKES Advocacy Alert! email to your fellow lake advocates, your lake association members, friends, and family. The individuals you send it to can then choose to subscribe to our mailing list (or not). The important thing is that they will hear about this advocacy campaign. We must spread the word.
  2. Then, download the one-page clean and drain informational piece and distribute it widely - click here. Please feel free to reprint it in your association newsletter, submit it to a local paper, or display it as a poster in public gathering places.
We need you to help build critical mass – enough people to make a difference when it comes time to contact New Hampshire state legislators once the session gets underway.
And just to be clear, NH LAKES will continue to promote the full clean, drain and dry message as a recommended best practice and will convey this through all of its educational channels, including the Lake Host Program.
As always, please feel free to contact me at or (603) 226-0299.
On behalf of the New Hampshire Lakes Association,

Tom O'Brien
President & Policy Advocate

NH LAKES is the only statewide, member supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting New Hampshire lakes and their watersheds.


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