Environmental Protection

Maine Requires Seaplanes to Carry Water Protection Sticker

In an effort to help bring attention to the threat and prevention of invasive plants in Maine’s nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds, the Maine Legislature last year passed a law requiring seaplanes – owned by residents or nonresidents landing in Maine – to carry a “Lake and River Protection Sticker.”

Before the law’s passage, only motorized watercraft owners were required to display the sticker.

The “Lake and River Protection Sticker” is two parts – one to be attached to the outside edge of each pontoon – and costs $20. It can be purchased through the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Website, www.mefishwildlife.com, or at most of the Department’s license agents statewide.

The Maine Legislature added seaplanes to the existing law in 2009 because of the potential of these crafts to transport and transfer invasive aquatic plants. The seaplane addition went into effect on Jan. 1.

The sticker reads: “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers – Preserve Maine’s Waters.”

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection facilitate the Invasive Aquatic Species Program in attempts to stop the spread of invasive species in Maine’s waters, and the effort is funded by proceeds from the sale of “Lake and River Protection” stickers.

An invasive species is a plant, animal or microbe that is introduced from other regions and aggressively out-competes native species. Usually they are spread as a result of peoples’ activities, such as variable-leaf milfoil being carried out of one body of water on motorized watercraft and then introduced into another body of water when the watercraft is launched there. Invasive aquatic plants can grow densely, crowd out native plants, reduce fish movement, stunt growth, shade out the bottom, and change water chemistry.

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