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E-M:/ Coast Guard Voluntary Guidance on Exotic Species

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

The Coast Guard pleads for voluntary cooperation in
the control of zebra mussels and other exotic species....

....unlike Ken Sikkema's "command and control" approach
for freighter ballast.....which has drawn fire from the right....

But hey...if "command and control" is still good for
ballast water, then it must be OK for West Michigan
air pollution .....

Federal Register: April 13, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 72)]
[Page 19953-19957]
 >From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Coast Guard

Voluntary Guidelines on Recreational Activities To Control the
Spread of Zebra Mussels and Other Aquatic Nuisance Species
AGENCY: Coast Guard, DOT.
ACTION: Notice; Request for comments.
SUMMARY: The Coast Guard seeks comments on voluntary guidelines for
persons engaged in water-related recreational activities (e.g., boating
and fishing). The Coast Guard must issue voluntary guidelines based on
the recommendations prepared by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
to help control the spread of the zebra mussel and other aquatic
nuisance species. We request your comments on these voluntary
DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management
Facility on or before June 12, 2000.
ADDRESSES: To make sure your comments and related material are not
entered in the docket more than once, please submit them by only one of
the following means:
(1) By mail to the Docket Management Facility, (USCG-2000-7206),
U.S. Department of Transportation, room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street SW.,
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
(2) By delivery to room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif
Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone
number is 202-366-9329.
(3) By fax to the Docket Management Facility at 202-493-2251.
(4) Electronically through the Web Site for the Docket Management
System at http://dms.dot.gov.
The Docket Management Facility maintains the public docket for this
notice. Comments and material received from the public will become part
of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at room
PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street
SW., Washington,
[[Page 19954]]
DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal
holidays. You may also find this docket on the Internet at http://
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions on this notice or
associated guidelines, call Lieutenant Karen Weaver, Project Manager,
Office of Operating and Environmental Standards (G-MSO), Coast Guard,
telephone, 202-267-2079. For questions on viewing or submitting
material to the docket, call Dorothy Walker, Chief, Dockets, Department
of Transportation, telephone 202-366-9329.
How May I Comment on the Voluntary Guidelines?
You may submit comments and related material on the voluntary
guidelines to the Docket Management Facility as indicated previously in
the ADDRESSES section of this notice. If you submit written comments
please include--
<bullet> Your name and address;
<bullet> The docket number for this notice (USCG-2000-7206);
<bullet> The specific section of this notice to which each comment
applies; and
<bullet> The reason for each comment.
You may mail, deliver, fax, or electronically submit your comments
and attachments to the Docket Management Facility, using an address or
fax number listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Please do
not submit the same comment or attachment more than once. If you mail
or deliver your comments, they must be on 8\1/2\-by-11-inch paper, and
the quality of the copy should be clear enough for copying and
scanning. If you mail your comments and would like to know if the
Docket Management Facility received them, please enclose a stamped,
self-addressed postcard or envelope. The Coast Guard will consider all
comments and material received during the comment period.
Why Is the Coast Guard Issuing Voluntary Guidelines?
To comply with the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA), we
are issuing voluntary guidelines for recreational activities to control
the spread of zebra mussels and other Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS).
We are providing this opportunity for public comment on the voluntary
guidelines. After considering the comments we will issue a final
version of the voluntary guidelines. These guidelines will be explained
in pamphlets, videos, and other types of outreach media.
The voluntary guidelines in this notice are based on the ones
drafted and recommended by the Recreational Activities Committee of the
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (the Committee). The guidelines
developed by the Committee are available in the docket and may be
accessed on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov.
What are Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)?
ANS are organisms introduced into non-native habitats and are often
freed from the natural predators, parasites, pathogens, and competitors
that have kept them in check. Once established, these organisms can
displace native species; they can impede municipal, industrial, and
private water-intake systems; and they can degrade aquatic ecosystems.
The introduction of most ANS is the work of humans. In some cases
this is intentional, but in many it is accidental. In addition to
overland transport of boats, which has long been identified as a key
dispersal pathway, there are many others. The other human activities
that can disperse ANS include angling, scuba diving, and waterfowl
Establishing these voluntary guidelines will help to promote good
habits that will control the spread of ANS. Surveys have shown that
participants in recreational activities will take necessary precautions
if they know what to do. Conversely, they will not take precautions
unless they know what to do.
What Is the Purpose of the Voluntary Guidelines?
The voluntary guidelines will give the public clear, concise
information on how to avoid the transport of ANS. These voluntary
guidelines provide specific procedures that individuals engaged in the
corresponding recreational activity can follow so they will not
accidentally transport ANS.
What Activities Do the Voluntary Guidelines Address and What Are
the Recommended Procedures?
These voluntary guidelines address the following water-related
recreational activities: Scuba diving; waterfowl hunting; harvesting of
bait by recreational anglers; angling; boating; operating seaplanes;
and operating personal watercraft. These voluntary guidelines are
intended to assist natural-resource managers and others involved in
educating individuals who participate in these recreational activities
about the problems associated with the spread of ANS in the United
Voluntary Guidelines for Recreational Activities To Control the
Spread of Zebra Mussels and Other Aquatic Nuisance Species
Generic Guidelines
Some guidelines are appropriate for any recreational activity
associated with water. The generic preventive guidelines listed below
apply to most recreational activities occurring in marine and inland
waters. In addition to these guidelines, States and provinces may
include specific laws and guidelines for their areas.
Always do the following:
<bullet> Always inspect equipment (in the broadest sense, e.g.,
boats, planes, trailers, decoy anchors, SCUBA gear, and lures) for
visible plants and animals before transporting.
<bullet> Always remove visible plants and animals from equipment
(expel plants, animals, and water from internal parts).
<bullet> Always drain water from equipment before transporting.
<bullet> Always clean equipment that has been in infested waters
before placing it in other waters (see the ``Pathway-specific
guidelines'' section for specific methods).
<bullet> Always report questionable species to your resource agency
for identification. Information is available from many sources about
identification of ANS; however, specimens are needed to confirm
sightings. Many jurisdictions have different rules regarding possession
and transport. Always ask your local natural resources management
agency for instructions.
Never do the following:
<bullet> Never transport plants, animals, mud, or water from lakes,
rivers, wetlands, and coastal waters.
<bullet> Never release animals or plants (e.g., aquarium species,
bait, pets, hunting dogs, or water garden plants) into the wild unless
you release them into the same waterbody or location where the species
came from.
Pathway-Specific Guidelines
These guidelines cover recreational activities that are potential
pathways for transferring ANS. Individuals engaged in these activities
should follow these guidelines to help prevent the spread of ANS. You
should note that States and provinces may add to these voluntary
guidelines their own related laws and guidelines, if any, regarding
transport or possession of ANS.
(a) Scuba Diving
You can unintentionally transport ANS, such as the zebra mussel,
spiny water flea, and Eurasian water milfoil, from one body of water to
another on
[[Page 19955]]
your scuba-diving gear. You should take precautions to reduce the risk
of spreading these unwanted species, especially when diving in
different waters on the same or consecutive days.
Many scuba divers believe that zebra mussels have benefited the
sport by improving visibility in the waters they inhabit. They soon
learn, however, that geological formations and shipwrecks that once
attracted them are encrusted with layers of zebra mussels, which
obscure these objects. The harm to the environment, the fisheries, and
industrial, municipal, and private water intakes, therefore, far
outweigh any benefit.
Any objects removed from the water have the potential of
introducing ANS to new waters. By adhering to the guidelines that
follow, you can help prevent the spread of ANS when you scuba dive, and
you can help protect the environment from the harmful impacts of these
<bullet> Inspect your equipment.
<bullet> Remove any plants, mud, or animals that are visible before
leaving all waters.
<bullet> Drain water from buoyancy compensator (bc), regulator,
tank boot, and any other equipment that may hold water before leaving
all waters.
<bullet> ANS can survive for a period of time on wet scuba gear or
in water. Therefore, do at least one of the following:
(1) Dry your suit and all equipment completely before diving in
different waters, and rinse the inside of your bc with hot or salted
water as described in items (2) and (3), which immediately follow.
(2) Submerge and wash your suit and equipment, and rinse the inside
of your bc with hot water (at least 40 deg. (C or 104 deg. (F).
(3) Submerge and wash your suit and equipment in a tub or tote
containing salted water (\1/2\cup of salt dissolved in one gallon of
water); rinse the inside of your bc with the salted solution; and rinse
your equipment with clean water.
(b) Waterfowl Hunting
Nonindigenous ANS such as the zebra mussel, purple loosestrife, and
Eurasian water milfoil can damage habitat for fish, waterfowl, and
other wildlife. Waterfowl hunters should be aware that it is possible
to inadvertently spread ANS from one lake or wetland via boats, motors,
trailers, and decoys. Waterfowlers should assume that any fragments of
aquatic plants could be potentially harmful and should not be
transported from one wetland, lake, river, or coastal area to another.
In addition, zebra mussels and their microscopic larvae can attach to
aquatic plants. If fragments of these plants are transported, they can
inadvertently transport zebra mussels to other waters. By following the
guidelines on recreational activities, you can help prevent the spread
of ANS via waterfowl hunting.
Before the hunting season--
<bullet> Switch to elliptical, bulb-shaped, or strap anchors on
decoys, which avoid collecting submerged and floating aquatic plants;
<bullet> If boats are moored in waters infested with zebra mussels,
use the following tips to remove or kill zebra mussels or other aquatic
animals and plants that might be in or on your boat:
(1) Remove any visible zebra mussels from the boat and wash and
rinse the boat with hot water; or
(2) Spray the boat with high-pressure water; or
(3) Dry all parts of the boat for at least 5 days before placing it
into another waterbody.
After hunting--
<bullet> Inspect waders or hip boots; remove aquatic plants; and,
where possible, rinse mud from them before leaving the waters;
<bullet> Remove aquatic plants, animals, and mud that are attached
to decoy lines or anchors; and
<bullet> Drain the water from boats before transporting to other
Between hunting trips--
<bullet> Inspect equipment for any aquatic plants, animals, and mud
not removed after hunting; remove and dispose of them on land away from
the waters; and
<bullet> Follow the guidelines for boaters in paragraph (e).
(c) Recreational Anglers' Harvest of Live Bait (Non-Commercial Harvest)
The guidelines that follow apply to the non-commercial harvesting
of live bait by recreational anglers. Also, the RAC is developing
guidelines for commercial bait.
Nonindigenous species can lodge in nets and other equipment used to
harvest baitfish and can be unintentionally transported into
noninfested waters. Some species can survive up to 2 weeks out of water
and remain viable when dislodged into another waterbody. Non-target ANS
species like ruffe and round goby, as well as fragments of aquatic
nuisance plants, such as hydrilla or Eurasian water milfoil, can be
harvested along with target baitfish species. If such species are
transferred to noninfested waters, they can have harmful effects on
native fish populations. To help prevent the transfer of these species,
you should conduct the procedures that follow during or after the
harvest of live bait for personal use.
<bullet> Inspect harvested live bait for non-target species, and
remove them where harvested.
<bullet> Always dispose of unwanted live bait on land (away from
contact with waters) before leaving the waters. Never release live bait
into a waterbody or move aquatic plants or animals from one waterbody
into a different waterbody.
<bullet> Remove all aquatic plants from boats, trailers, nets, or
other equipment while on shore before leaving the water-body access.
<bullet> Before reusing nets, roll out, hand clean, and dry them.
<bullet> Drain water from boats and equipment (bilge pump, tubs,
live wells, etc.) before leaving any waterbody access.
<bullet> Never use water from infested waters to transport live
bait to other waters. In many States and provinces, live bait harvested
from designated infested waters is illegal. Check with your local State
natural resource agency before you collect live bait.
<bullet> In areas where harvest of bait from infested waters is
legal, avoid using the same equipment in infested and noninfested
waters. Some aquatic nuisance species once removed from infested waters
can survive up to two weeks in a moist environment. By drying surfaces
where they can be lodged or attached, you can substantially reduce the
risk of transporting them in boats and equipment.
<bullet> Rinse all equipment, including boats and trailers, with
tap water and dry them for as long as possible, but for at least 5 days
before re-use, especially in other waters. Before re-use, you should
roll out nets, hand clean them, and dry them for a minimum of 10 days,
or freeze them for 2 days.
<bullet> The following applies to disinfection, specific to zebra
mussels, of equipment that is difficult to treat with drying and
washing methods (use these methods away from the waterbody):
(1) As an added equipment treatment, a dip of 100 percent vinegar
for 20 minutes can kill small zebra mussels and may be effective
against other ANS.
(2) Treatment with other chemicals such as a 1-percent solution of
table salt for 24 hours can be as effective as a dip of vinegar.
[[Page 19956]]
The recipes provided in the following table are for a 1-percent
solution of table salt (sodium chloride) treatment in water.\1\
\1\ Adapted from ``Fisheries Scientist's Pocket Reference''
booklet by Iowa Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, 1991, by
Doug Jensen, University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program.
Cups of
Gallons of 2ater salt*
5............................................................ \2/3\
10........................................................... 1\1/4\
25........................................................... 3
50........................................................... 6\1/4\
100.......................................................... 12\2/3\
* Based on 312 g per cup.
(d) Angling
The introduction of ANS can cause significant changes in freshwater
and marine ecosystems. Populations of prey and game fish can be
significantly harmed by the presence of species such as the sea
lamprey, Asian swamp eel, Chinese carp, and zebra mussel. Some aquatic
nuisance plants (e.g., hydrilla, Eurasian water milfoil, and water
hyacinth) may limit the viable fishing area of inland waters. You can
help prevent the transfer of ANS by following the guidelines in this
section whenever you engage in angling.
<bullet> Dispose of unwanted live bait on land before leaving the
waterbody. Never release live bait into a waterbody or move aquatic
plants or animals from one waterbody to another.
<bullet> Wash and dry your boat, tackle, downriggers, float tube,
waders, and other equipment to remove or kill harmful species that were
not visible at the boat launch.
<bullet> Inspect all fish caught using seines, dipnets, or other
types of netting; remove and properly discard all non-target species.
(e) Boating
ANS, such as the zebra mussel, spiny water flea, and Eurasian water
milfoil, can be unintentionally transported through water-related
recreation activities because some ANS can survive many days out of
water. If you are a water recreationalist (e.g., boater, angler, water-
skier, canoeist, or kayaker), there are some important actions you can
take to prevent the transport of ANS from one waterbody to another.
<bullet> Before leaving all waters, inspect your boat (sailboats
check centerboard and bilgeboard wells, and keel boats check the
rudder-post area), trailer (check axles, runners, lights, and rollers),
and other boating equipment (check anchors, water-skis, or other tow
lines), and remove any plants, animals, or mud that are visible (see
diagram 1).
<bullet> Drain water from the motor, livewell, bilge, and transom
wells while on land and before leaving all waters.
<bullet> Wash and dry your boat, tackle, downriggers, trailer, and
other boating equipment to kill harmful species that were not visible
at the boat launch. You can do this on your way home or once you arrive
<bullet> Before you transport to other waters, do one of the
(1) Rinse your boat and boating equipment with hot (greater than 40
deg.C or 104 deg.F) tap water.
(2) Spray your boat and trailer with high-pressure water.
(3) Dry your boat and equipment for at least 5 days.
For your information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in
conjunction with Canadian officials and other partners, are
implementing the 100th Meridian Initiative, which focuses on preventing
the westward spread of zebra mussels and other ANS by boat inspections
and by dissemination of posters, brochures, and other information about
ANS. There are many other State and Federal initiatives focusing on
controlling the spread of ANS. Consult your local Fish and Wildlife
Service facility or other appropriate State or Federal natural resource
management agency for additional information.
(f) Seaplanes
Many ANS, such as the zebra mussel and Eurasian water milfoil, can
be unintentionally transported from one waterbody to another on the
floats of seaplanes. Therefore, it is important to clean the aircraft
to remove ANS before traveling, rather than after landing at new
locations. In addition, it is important for you to incorporate the
procedures listed here into the operation of your seaplane. However,
plane safety is the first priority when considering and following these
Before entering the aircraft--
<bullet> Inspect and remove aquatic plants from the floats, wires
or cables, and water rudders;
<bullet> Pump floats, which may contain infested water; and
<bullet> If moored in waters infested by zebra mussels for extended
periods, check the transom, chine, bottom, wheel wells, and step area
of floats (see diagram 2). If zebra mussels are present on the floats,
you can use (any) one of the following methods to remove or kill them:
(1) Wash the floats with hot water.
(2) Spray the floats with high-pressure water.
(3) Dry all parts of the floats for at least 5 days.
Before takeoff--
[[Page 19957]]
<bullet> Avoid taxiing through heavy surface growths of aquatic
plants before takeoff;
<bullet> Raise and lower water rudders several times to clear off
plants. This will also minimize cable stretch and improve the
effectiveness of the rudders for steering.
After takeoff--
<bullet> Raise and lower water rudders several times to free
fragments of aquatic plants while over the waters you are leaving or
while over land; and
<bullet> If aquatic plants remain visible on floats or water
rudders, return to the lake and remove the plants.
Storage or mooring--
<bullet> Remove aircraft from the water, as is often done at
seaplane bases, and allow all parts of the floats to dry. A few days of
hot, summer temperatures will kill adult zebra mussels (longer drying
times of up to 10 days are required to kill adult mussels during cool,
humid weather); and
<bullet> Aircraft moored for extended periods in zebra-mussel-
infested waters may have zebra mussels attached to the floats and
should be cleaned regularly. In remote locations, where zebra mussels
are present, but where there are no provisions for drying, spraying, or
treating the floats with hot water, the best option available for
preventing the spread of the mussels is to hand-clean the submerged
portions of floats with a scrub brush and to physically remove adult
mussels. (Aircraft moored for extended periods in zebra-mussel-infested
waters may have zebra mussels attached to the floats and should be
cleaned regularly.)
(g) Personal Watercraft
Personal watercraft that have jet-drive systems require some extra
precautions to avoid ANS. A pump pulls water in through an opening
under the craft, and the impeller (an internal propeller) forces water
out, moving the craft forward. ANS can easily get lodged in the jet-
drive system and get transported if the watercraft is taken from one
waterbody to another. A small piece of Eurasian water milfoil, or other
ANS, caught in the impellers can infest a new lake or river. Zebra
mussels can survive in excess water in the jet drive and spread to
other waters. By applying the following guidelines, you can help
prevent the transfer of ANS via your personal watercraft.
In the water--
<bullet> Avoid running the engine through aquatic plants near the
boat access; and
<bullet> Push or winch the watercraft up on the trailer without
running the engine.
On the trailer--
<bullet> After you pull the watercraft from the water, start the
engine for 5 to 10 seconds to blow out any excess water and vegetation.
(The dark, damp, enclosed area of the impeller provides an ideal
environment for aquatic nuisance plants to survive.); and
<bullet> After the engine stops, pull plants out of the steering
nozzle. Inspect your trailer and any other sporting equipment for
fragments of aquatic plants, and remove them before you leave the
access area.
After trailering and before re-use--
<bullet> Wash and dry your watercraft and equipment to kill or
remove harmful species that you did not see at the boat launch. You can
do this on your way home or once you arrive home. Choose one of the
following methods of disinfection before transporting to another
(1) Rinse your watercraft and other equipment with hot (greater
than 40 deg.C or 104 deg.F) tap water.
(2) Spray your watercraft and trailer with high-pressure water.
(3) Dry your watercraft and equipment for at least 5 days.
Dated: April 7, 2000.
Joseph J. Angelo,
Director of Standards, Marine Safety and Environmental Protection.
[FR Doc. 00-9248 Filed 4-12-00; 8:45 am]

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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