Check Clean Dry

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus). Image: GBNNSS

Going abroad this summer? Do not bring back more than you bargained for!

Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue Campaign Manager.

Check Clean Dry Summer 2018 – help stop the spread of invasive species and diseases from abroad.

If you are off in search of sunny weather and new waters this summer remember to Check, Clean, Dry to make sure you do not bring back any hitchhikers.

Invasive non-native species can damage boat engines and props, block up waterways, make navigation difficult and harm the environment. As a water user you may unknowingly be spreading them from one water body to another.

Animals, eggs, larvae and tiny plant fragments can easily be carried on equipment, shoes and clothing, and some can survive out of water in damp conditions for more than two weeks.

Biodiversity threat

There are currently around 140 aquatic non-native species in Britain; many species thrive in both salt and fresh water. Their main means of spreading is via boat hulls or propellers, or within bilge or engine cooling water systems.

Once established in a new waterbody, invasive species can become unmanageable. You can help to stop the spread by remembering to Check, Clean, Dry your clothing and equipment when you leave the water. If you are heading abroad this summer, it is even more important to Check, Clean, Dry while you are away to avoid bringing back a new invasive species or disease.

Green Sea Fingers (Codium fagiles). Image: Chris Wood, Marine Conservation Society

Travel safely

This summer, the RYA is seeking to reduce the risk of introduction of new invasive species and diseases by raising awareness amongst overseas travellers.  So if you are off in search of sunny weather and new waters this summer, always remember to Check, Clean, Dry:

  • Check your equipment, clothing and footwear
  • Clean everything thoroughly before you return
  • Dry everything as some species can live for more than two weeks in damp conditions

The Green Blue, the RYA and British Marine’s joint environmental campaign, has developed a series of guidance videos for boaters looking at how to Check, Clean and Dry their crafts. This includes specific dinghy, windsurf, powerboat and personal watercraft guidance as well as a general introduction video to invasive species.

The Green Blue will also be developing a video guide for Marina Operators on the benefits of having a ‘Biosecurity Plan’ in place and what to consider when developing one with support from the government’s RAPID LIFE Project – www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?sectionid=139

RAPID LIFE is a three-year project piloting innovative approaches to invasive species management in freshwater aquatic, riparian and coastal environments. It is led by the Animal and Plant Health Agency in partnership with Natural England and Bristol Zoological Society.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Campaign Manager for The Green Blue, Kate Fortnam, explains: “It is important that boaters demonstrate that they are doing all they can to reduce the spread of invasive species in order to help protect the environment.

“It is in everyone’s interest to protect the natural environment that supports our recreational boating activity. Later in the year we will also be focusing on what canal boat owners and businesses can do to Check, Clean and Dry their boats.”

For more information or to download your free copy of The Green Guide to Boating visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk. Boaters can also head to www.rya.org.uk/go/alienspecies to find out more about how to ‘Stop the Spread’.

Follow the campaign on Twitter @CheckCleanDryGB and @TheGreenBlue

To find out more about the work of The Green Blue visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk