Tracking regional consistency in regulatory policies used to ensure boaters take specific actions to reduce aquatic invasive species risk.

Progress towards effective regional management of the recreational activities pathway includes both the implementation of education and outreach programs encouraging voluntary behavior change, and the adoption of comprehensive and regionally harmonized watercraft inspection and decontamination programs and policies. 

Blue Accounting is tracking state prevention programs and policies to illustrate the consistency and breadth of management approaches to prevent the movement of AIS through recreational boating. The dashboard below illustrate different components of recreational boating AIS prevention programs, including:

  • Agency Capacity (does the relevant management agency  have sufficient capacity, including funding, personnel, and authority, to implement and manage recreational boating AIS prevention programs);
  • Partnerships (does the relevant management agency efficiently coordinate with external partners to implement and manage recreational boating AIS prevention programs);
  • Outreach (does the relevant management agency implement outreach campaigns designed to educate boaters and encourage responsible behaviors);
  • Reporting and Evaluation (does the relevant management agency regularly report on and evaluate their recreational boating AIS prevention program); and
  • Inspection and Decontamination (does the relevant management agency implement broadscale watercraft inspection and decontamination programs).

Both programmatic and regulatory components are included in each of the categories above. Programmatic components were developed based on in-depth interviews with the relevant management agency for each of the jurisdictions included in the dashboard. Regulatory components are based on the National Sea Grant Law Center and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Model Regulation for State Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs.

As stated above, this Recreational Boating AIS Prevention Programs dashboard is based on extensive interviews with jurisdictions and assessment of regulatory programs. For more information about each of these components and how jurisdiction actively incorporate them, see our matrix of notes, available for download here.

For a more detailed assessment on recreational boating regulations in the Great Lakes region, read more here.