The first line of defensive against invasive aquatic plants such as variable leaf and Eurasian water milfoil, hydrilla, water chestnut and Brazilian elodea are Maine's courtesy boat inspectors. Many new infestations occur in shallow waters near public boat launch facilities, so it’s obvious invasive plants move from lake to lake on the boats and equipment of unsuspecting boaters.
If people are the cause, they can also be the cure. Since courtesy boat inspections started, the number of boats inspected has risen from just 2,848 in 2001 to 76,105 in 2011. Check out the 2012 Milfoil Summit Fact Sheet for information and statistics about the 2011 boat inspection season.
What do courtesy boat inspectors, often call CBIs, do? As boaters launch and remove their boats from the water, CBIs:
LEA has filled all its CBI positions for 2012. Each spring LEA hires dozens of CBIs to monitor boat launches throughout the Lakes Region. Hours are typically 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Boat traffic is usually highest on Saturdays and Sundays, so inpectors must be able to work at least one weekend day a week.
Reliability, honesty and good people skills are a must for all CBIs. Inspectors are generally paid $9 per hour. To learn more about working as a Courtesy Boat inspector, read the Courtesy Boat Inspector Handbook. If you are interested in becoming a courtesy boat inspect in the Sebago Lake Region in 2012, please email Peter Lowell or call 647-8580.