An Educational Campaign to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species


Clean Drain Dry was created to help address the problem of invasive species threatening BC’s aquatic and riparian ecosystems, such as streams, lakes, wetlands and the species that rely on them. Select introduced species (plants, fish, and other aquatic organisms) can thrive in new places that lack natural pathogens or predators from it’s environment and rapidly grow.

These organisms can negatively impact the native biodiversity by altering fish/ wildlife habitat and as a result, can reduce fisheries productivity and water quality. Once established, aquatic invasives are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. 

The Clean Drain Dry program empowers you to reduce the spread of invasive species in BC waters by following the clean, drain, dry procedure on watercrafts and equipment.

What Can You Do? Prevention!

Eurasian watermilfoil (Credit: A Fox)

Prevention is by far the most cost-effective strategy when it comes to invasive plant management. Prevention means reducing/ cutting out potential pathways of spread (vectors) so invasive plants and animals are less likely get established in new areas. Native flora and fauna benefit from less invasives. 
You can practice the simple steps of
CleanDrainDry to help protect BCs aquatic and riparian biodiversity.


  • Clean plants, animals and mud from their boat and gear.
  •   Do a visual inspection of the gear to ensure that everything removed is disposed of near the source (invasive aquatic plants can be left on land in the sun to dry out).


  • Drain all water from boat and gear onto land. Pull all plugs- it is illegal to transport plugged watercraft into some provinces. This includes all internal compartments, ballast tanks, live wells, bilges, bait buckets, motors etc.


  • Dry all parts of boats and gear completely between trips. 
    Make sure no water Is left standing.
    Use a sponge or towel for hard to dry areas.
A grey heron stood on one leg in water with flowering purple loosestrife in the background providing a natural setting.
Mature Purple Loosestrife

Examples of Invasive Aquatic and Riparian Plants in the Coastal ISC Area

Aquatic Invasive Plants
that form thick mats on the surface of the water:

Invasive aquatic plants can impede light penetration to underwater plants and animals, hinder boat traffic, clog intake pipes of boats, foul fishing lines and nets, reduce recreational value of lakes, and cause a danger to swimmers

Riparian and Intertidal Invasive Plants
that can spread onto adjacent lands:

Riparian and intertidal invasive plants can reduce habitat, especially for migratory birds.

Specific Actions You Can Take

  • Learn about invasive plants are in your area and inform others.
    •  Identification apps like iNaturalist can help identify aquatic invasive species.


  • Drain water from boat (including motor, live well, bilge, and transom wells), trailers, tackle, and gear (including waders) before leaving an area.


  • Inspect your equipment, dogs, boat, motor and trailer and remove all aquatic plants, plant parts, and visible debris before leaving the area. Dispose of invasive materials responsibly. 


  • Dispose of submerged aquatic invasive plant material far from water and spread it out so that it can completely dry. For all other plant material, bag and dispose of it at a landfill.


  • Report invasive species with one of the suggested options listed here.
    • Download the Report Invasives BC app is available for both Android and Apple

Parrots feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) (pictured) and Fragrant Waterlilies grow to form mats of vegetation that increases stagnant water that can suppress diversity and serve as mosquito habitat. 

Biofouling at the bottom of marine ships require plenty of maintenance. The invasive Quagga and Zebra mussels have caused excessive biofouling in the great lakes in eastern Canada (none here!).