Boat Washing Mandatory for all Lakes

lavage bateauxPRESS RELEASE
Blue Sea, July 25, 2017- Today the municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines announce a mandatory boat washing program for all lakes in their jurisdictions.

Starting July 29th, everyone who wishes to launch a boat will have to go to the municipal wash station and clean their boat. This will ensure the preservation of our lakes and ensure that future generations will enjoy their beauty.

This is the first time that two municipalities in Quebec have worked together to minimize the risks of invasive species contaminating their lakes.

All lakes in the two municipalities, more than 50, are covered by these mandatory boat washing regulations. Zebra mussels, spiny water fleas, water chestnuts and other invasive species could be introduced by unwashed vessels.

These foreign invaders, their eggs or spores, move from lake to lake when they are attached to a boat or are carried by water into the holds of boats.

"We are pleased to welcome everyone but want to ensure that they do not introduce dangerous species that would destroy our lakes," said Blue Sea Mayor Laurent Fortin. "Our residents understand the importance of our lakes to tourists and local people."
"This new regulation will ensure that future generations will be able to swim, fish and sail as people have done for over 100 years," said Mayor Ronald Cross of Messines. If the lakes die, the economic engine of our region dies. Mandatory boat washing will ensure the health of our lakes. "

Taxpayers in both municipalities will not have to pay for washing their boats, but they must prove that their boats have been properly cleaned at the municipal wash station. Non-residents will have to pay $25 to wash their boats before putting them in the water at the municipal docks of Messines and Blue Sea. Boat washing stations will be at the municipal office of Blue Sea and at Boucherie Rock Lafreniere at 73 rue Principale in Messines.

All boaters who fail to comply with mandatory boat washing will be subject to $300 in fines levied by municipal officials.
The Blue Sea Watershed Association convened a tripartite committee with the two mayors last fall.

"We are extremely pleased that municipalities have taken this important initiative in preserving our lakes while continuing to accommodate boaters," said Francis Leblanc, President of the Association.

For more information, contact:
Sally Southey, Blue Sea Watershed Association, 613 422 1383
Messines Municipal Office; 819 465 2323
Christian Michel, Blue Sea, 819 463 2261 ext 2