Posted by John Ester on Nov 06, 2018
Jane Perrino is the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at the Benzie Conservation District.
Jane's hiring was made possible through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program of March 2016. This has been a two-year grant that covers Leelanau, Benzie and Manistee Counties. The grant is for the acquisition of staff and equipment to provide educational outreach, boat and gear decontamination and assistance to lake associations and conservation groups.
With its funds the Benzie Conservation has not only hired Jane, it has purchased two pressure washers suitable to clean water craft and dispose of waste water.  In 2017 Jane and her staff washed 680 boats at 18 lakes and three streams, with a compliance rate of 89%.  In 2018 they washed 676 boats at 19 lakes and two streams, with a compliance rate of 87%.
The District's ultimate goal is behavior change--convincing boaters to take their watercraft to self-serve car washes. The District also provide guidance to those wishing to make their own DIY kits for cleaning their boats and related equipment.