Boat Ramp Monitor Program

Learn how the DCR is working to keep our waters clean by monitoring boat ramps.

Overview

Due to the spread of invasive non-native aquatic species throughout our water bodies, DCR has developed the Boat Ramp Monitor Program. The goals of the program are to:

  • Prevent pristine water bodies from becoming infested
  • Reduce further spread of the exotic plants from infested areas
  • Educate boaters about non-native species and the steps they can take to protect our lakes and ponds

Non-native or exotic species are plants or animals that are indigenous to other parts of the country or world, and when they are introduced to a new area often disrupt the balance of the new ecosystem. Many non-native plants reproduce very rapidly, displacing native species and developing mats at the water’s surface that render boating, fishing, swimming and other recreational activities impossible or dangerous. Once introduced to a new area, they are further spread around to additional water bodies on boat motors, trailers, fishing gear and in bait buckets. Even one small plant fragment is capable of infesting an entire lake or pond. When a non-native species is established it is very expensive to control and nearly impossible to eradicate. Prevention is the key!

Boat ramp monitors have been placed at both infested and un-infested lakes and ponds statewide. Their goal is to inspect every boat entering or leaving to make sure that no plant fragments are attached the boat, trailer or gear. Boaters are given an informational brochure, asked to participate in a voluntary boat inspection and complete a brief survey.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Tom Flannery at tom.flannery@state.ma.us

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