In 2008, a Volunteer Greeter Program was initiated, with more than two dozen LMPA members and friends manning the boat access to help educate boaters about invasive species and provide courtesy boat inspections to prevent new invasives such as Eurasian Water Milfoil from entering our Lake. The milfoil management efforts at Lake Morey are considered a model in Vermont and throughout the northeast.
Additionally, the Town of Fairlee hired a greeter to work at the boat launch on weekends to check boats as they enter and exit the water. Beginning with the 2016 season, the number of paid Greeters was increased, providing coverage at the busiest times and the need for the Volunteer Greeter Program was eliminated. Funding for the paid Greeters traditionally comes from the VT Agency of Natural Resources, a grant from The Lake Morey Foundation, and funding from the LMPA.
We appreciate this team approach, which substantially increases the number of hours that the boat launch is manned for boat inspections and boater education.
Aquatic invasive species – non-native species that cause ecological harm when introduced into bodies of water outside of their natural range – continue to be a great concern in Vermont, demanding our attention as well as our resources. Aquatic invasive species ( AIS ) are spread by overland transport of watercraft, trailers, fishing and recreational equipment. The most effective way to prevent spread is through education and equipment inspections to clean and remove potential invasive species “hitching a ride” on equipment. Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species is far more effective and economically sensible than eradicating invasive species once they are established. Public Access Greeters educate lake visitors about invasive species, provide courtesy watercraft inspections and STOP introductions.
To prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by establishing a well trained network of public access greeters who:
- Educate recreational boaters about the harmful effects of invasive species and what they can do to prevent spreading them.
- Provide courtesy boat inspections to encourage boaters to “do the right thing” to stop the spread of AIS.
- Stop invasive species introductions
Boat Access Greeter Duties
- Approaching and interacting with boaters/others in a welcoming manner
- Inspecting watercraft
- Identifying and handling suspicious specimens
- Collecting and reporting data
- Distributing educational materials
- Work with and report to on a regular basis members of the Lake Morey Protective Association and state officials
Greeters are required to attend a *training workshop where they will learn:
- Aquatic invasive species biology, threats to Vermont, and the importance of spread prevention
- Aquatic invasive species identification and hands-on workshop
- Access area rules and regulations, baitfish regulations, and invasive species laws
- Tips on delivering invasive species messages and interacting with the public
* In the past, this training has been a 3-4 hr. workshop held in Berlin, VT.
¹Sections of job description taken from Vermont Watershed Public Access Greeter Training Manual