One of the main ways that freshwater invasive plants move from pond to pond and lake to lake is through boats – you do some boating Gorham Pond in Dunbarton in Concord and then move to Lake Sunapee, not realizing that you picked up some milfoil on your craft or boat trailer and are depositing it elsewhere.

The main tool to fight this is cleaning stations at boat ramps. The nonprofit NH LAKES recently deployed the first waterless watercraft cleaning unit in the Northeast—the CD3 Clean, Drain, Dry & Dispose Unit. This mobile, solar-powered CD3 unit is visiting public boat ramps throughout the state helping boaters prevent the spread of invasive species. By using the CD3, boaters can clean, drain, and dry their boat, trailer, and gear to prevent the spread of invasive species from waterbody to waterbody. 

The CD3 unit is free and easy to use. It is equipped with hand tools to help boaters remove plant fragments and other debris. A wrench is provided to help open drain plugs to remove trapped water that may contain microscopic invasive animals. A wet/dry vacuum allows boaters to remove standing water trapped in bilges, live wells, and storage compartments. And, a blower is provided to help to fully dry vessels, trailers, and gear.

The NH LAKES CD3 unit is being shared with access site owners and local partners at boat ramps around the state. The unit is visiting New Hampshire Fish and Game public access sites on Ossipee Lake, Newfound Lake, and Squam Lake before Labor Day

Amy Smagula, Exotic Species Program Coordinator with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, stated, “The Department of Environmental Services is pleased to support the prevention-based efforts of NH LAKES in obtaining and using a CD3 unit in New Hampshire. This unit, paired with efforts of the Lake Host Program and other education and outreach efforts related to aquatic invasive species will work together to help reduce the spread of both plants and animals among state waterbodies.”

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