Watercraft Inspection

What Is Watercraft Inspection?

Watercraft inspection consists of visually inspecting all areas of boating and recreational equipment (i.e., boat, trailer, motor, livewell, anchor, swim fins, scuba gear, etc.) that come in contact with or hold water; removing all visible plants, animals, and mud; and draining water from all compartments and containers. These practices reduce the risk of movement of all organisms–particularly aquatic invasive species–from one body of water to another. For more information about watercraft inspection, see the Watercraft Inspection Handbook.

Watercraft Inspection Handbook

History in New York State

People have been working to control aquatic invasive species in New York State for decades. In 2003, the state government took a leadership effort to identify and coordinate local and regional efforts.
The Watercraft Inspection Steward Program’s are a statewide effort that has stewards stationed at boat launches across the state, including Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, the Thousand Islands, the Adirondacks, Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Saratoga Lake. Boat inspection programs, which began as grassroots efforts in the Adirondacks in the early 2000s, were recognized and supported with increased government funding around this time. Stewards participate in many education and outreach events and invasive species removal projects, and, during the boating season, inspect and remove invasive species from watercraft.
This website was prepared by the New York Sea Grant Extension Program for the Cornell University Statewide Invasive Species Outreach Education Program. It is funded, in part, by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund administered through a contract between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University for education and outreach related to invasive species in New York.
This website supports the “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!(TM)” (SAH) campaign led by Wildlife Forever with support from the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, state and federal agencies and conservation partners across the U.S.

More Resources

Watercraft Inspection Steward Program Application

Training Resources