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Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates Push for Boater's Education
Minnesotans love boats!  And they own more per capita than any state except Florida. But boating in Minnesota is changing.  The trend towards larger and more powerful boats has accelerated. The increased speed and power of watercraft today necessitates a greater degree of skill and knowledge for safety and to protect lake ecology.

Enhanced wake watercraft (EWW) is a rapidly growing and exciting new sector of the boating industry. The massive wakes these boats generate can damage sensitive shorelines, docks and other boats, from pontoons to kayaks. Their thrust can go down further in the water column than other watercraft, destroying aquatic plants and churning up sediments that cause algae blooms and silt in spawning beds, affecting fish habitat.  EWW are also at very high risk of transporting aquatic invasive species due to the ballast tanks they carry, according to research by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.

Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates feel it’s time to create a boater’s education and certification program that stresses etiquette, safety and best practices to protect aquatic habitats.



 
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Northwest Boat Inspectors Get Big Boost from Federal Budget - To prevent invasive aquatic hitchhikers, a bit of legislation hitched a ride of its own in last year’s 2,009-page federal appropriations bill. The Aquatic Plant Control Program received $4 million in the coming fiscal year to boost operation of boat inspection stations in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.


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