Courtesy Boat Inspection is an essential practice to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Maine’s water bodies. AIS are non-native plants and animals that can cause severe harm to native ecosystems, disrupt food chains, and reduce recreational opportunities in lakes and rivers. Once introduced, AIS can quickly spread from one water body to another through boats, trailers, and other watercraft.
To combat this issue, the state developed the Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) Program to reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species (AIS) including
plants, fish, and small-bodied animals which aims to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS by inspecting watercraft and educating boaters about the importance of AIS prevention. Here are some key facts about the CBI program:
- Inspections are conducted by volunteers, lake association members, local high school or college students, paid employees, watershed association members, and/or members of other similar groups.
- The inspections are free, voluntary, and take only a few minutes to complete. However, the transport and introduction of an aquatic invasive species into a Maine lake can result in a fine of $5000.
We encourage people to allow Inspections to minimize introduction and ensure that you, the boat owner, will never be put in a situation where you have to pay that fee.
- Inspectors look for any plant or animal material that may be clinging to the watercraft, including on the hull, propeller, and trailer.
- Boaters are educated on AIS prevention and instructed on proper cleaning techniques during every inspection.
- The CBI program has been highly successful, with an average of 80,000 boats inspected per year since its inception in 2001
If you are interested in learning more and getting involved in this program, please review the resources below.