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The Clean Lake Initiative

March 23, 2017

Dear Friends and Fellow Boaters,

Boaters in Waterton received disappointing news last week when a ban was placed on motorized watercraft in the park because of the threat of invasive mussels, an exploding and insidious danger.

The motorized boat ban is now in place for Glacier and Waterton.

Motorboats and their trailers have mechanical compartments and reservoirs in which leftover, mussel-contaminated water may collect and remain hidden.

Human powered watercraft such as kayaks and canoes are not banned, but will be subject to inspections and a permit process. Experts seem to agree that these vessels have fewer places in which water can remain from a previous use without easily being discovered and drained.

The day after the ban was announced, the council of Improvement District #4 struck an ad hoc committee, the Clean Lake Initiative, whose objective is to establish a protocol to certify boats that are free of mussel contamination. This is being undertaken in the hopes that if an acceptable method to certify non-contaminated boats could be brought forward, power boat use in Waterton could resume next year.

I am lead on this committee, and members include Keith Robinson (Chamber of Commerce), Lorin Low (Community), Brian Reeves (ID), Dennis Pollock (ID). The committee will be compiling an abundance of information. An ongoing conversation with Parks Canada, in addition to consultations with additional scientific experts, reports from other jurisdictions, and the opinions of local users will be fundamental to this committee’s purpose, and hopefully, its success.

All risk levels of contaminated boats are represented in Waterton lakes, from no risk at all to great risk. Boats that have never left the park will be simple to certify. Conversely, boats that are in and out of the park, and in and out of other lakes may prove difficult and costly to prove non-contamination.

There have already been excellent suggestions for compliance measures which have been put forward by power boat owners. We would like to hear from everyone. We are looking for thoughtful, practical and objective suggestions. It must be a protocol that is financially sustainable and scientifically sound. This will take considerable research, so to start things off, I have attached some informative links. You will find that information is plentiful and constantly evolving.

For the sake of our lake, please help us develop a program of certification so that our boats can safely be back in the water. Please email all of your suggestions to:

[email protected]

The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2017.

Thank you for your help.

Jody Thaell

The Clean Lake Initiative

An Improvement District #4 ad hoc Committee

Waterton Park, Alberta

http://aep.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/invasive-species/aquatic-invasive-species/default.aspx

https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/glacier-to-lift-restrictions-on-hand-propelled-boats-with-invasive-species-inspections-this-season.htm

http://www.pinchercreekecho.com/2017/03/20/boat-ban-to-keep-mussels-out-of-waterton

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/nov/18/invasive-mussel-larvae-find-in-montana-prompts-con/