The new state regulation, which goes into effect at the start of 2013, makes it illegal for a boat in one river or lake to pick up plants and then go into another body of water — at least without being cleaned first.
Some boaters are likely to see the rule as a burden, but Jared Teutsch of the Alliance for the Great Lakes — an advocacy group — says the law is in everyone’s best interests.
“That beautiful body of water is not going to stay that way if some of these aquatic invasive species get in there,” he says.
Teutsch adds that because recreational vehicles are the number one reason invasive plants are spread, it’s important to keep boaters informed about the threat of invasives in Illinois waterways. That's one reason the state now stipulates that owners of public docks post information about keeping boats free of invasive plants and animals.
The law also allows police to pull over vehicles that are hauling boats with plant debris.