Boats and trailers, canoes, kayaks and other water sports equipment can transport pollutants and invasive species into our lakes and streams.

Practicing routine cleanings can help prevent spreading unwanted substances from our lakes and streams whether its oil, invasive species, or other pollutants. Rinse, drain, and dry your boats, trailers, canoes, kayaks and anything else that will be used in another body of water AFTER EACH USE.


Wash your boats, trailers, canoes, kayaks and other water sports equipment.

Clean them on the grass or at a car wash that will keep the runoff from draining into a waterbody.

Use non-toxic cleaners.

Find cleaners that are phosphorus free and not solvent-based (baking soda, borax, lemon or lime juice).

Don’t dump waste.

Carefully dispose of waste such as oil at approved sites and do not dump it into a storm drain. Check for leaks and spills so that runoff doesn’t carry any contaminants into the watershed.

Clean and dry everything.

Boats, vehicles, dogs, fishing and sporting equipment, bait buckets and anything else that comes into contact with water should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before entering a different waterbody.

Return to sender.

DO NOT release fish, plants, or animals into bodies of water that they did not come from.

Avoid aquatic hitchhikers.

Before bringing your watercraft or other water sports equipment into another body of water, ensure that bilges, live wells, the hull, propellers, and trailer are completely free of water, mud and plants. Additionally, toss unwanted bait into the trash and not the water.

YOU CAN HELP! Volunteer.

Clean Boats Clean Waters is a cooperative program of Michigan Lake and Stream Associations and MSU Extension, training volunteers across Michigan to conduct boater education and boat/trailer inspections at boat launches to reduce the spread of invasive species.