HIGGINS LAKE – In an effort to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species on Higgins Lake, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Higgins Lake Property Owner’ Association (HLPOA) and Higgins Lake Foundation (HLF) are working cooperatively on a pilot project to offer free staffed boat washing stations and aquatic invasive species education.
Higgins Lake and Michigan’s other inland lakes have been affected by aquatic invasive species, which are non-native animals or plants whose introduction causes harm to Michigan’s economy, environment and human health. Boat washing is a simple tool boaters can use to help prevent the spread between inland lakes.
The HLPOA and HLF will provide staff to assist visitors in washing their watercraft in the following locations during the 2018 boating season:
- North Higgins Lake State Park boating access site and boat wash area.
- South Higgins Lake State Park boating access site.
- West Higgins Lake boating access site on select weekends.
‘Washing your boat prior to launching and after you come out of the water is one line of defense to protect our waterways from aquatic invasive species,’ said Vicki Springstead with the Higgins Lake Foundation. ‘The HLF provided grant funds to assist with the construction of the boat washes at both North and South Higgins Lake state parks. As part of an ongoing partnership between the HLF, HLPOA, and DNR, boaters will now be greeted by employees who will educate the public and assist in washing boats at Higgins Lake during the 2018 season.’
Boaters are reminded of what they can do to stop aquatic hitchhikers, including the keywords clean, drain, dry and dispose.
According to Charlene Cornell, president of the Higgins Lake Property Owner’ Association, “The introduction of aquatic invasive species poses a grave threat to the health of Higgins Lake. Since 1935, HLPOA has made it its mission to protect and enhance the quality of the lake, and by partnering with the HLF and the DNR we are taking steps to fulfill these goals.’
Additional information can be found on the state’s invasive species website at www.michigan.gov/invasives, under Take Action and then Boaters and Anglers.
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