$1,500 to register your boat?

A number of invasive aquatic species are threatening our water resources nationwide.  Plants such as Hydrilla, Eurasian Milfoil and Brazilian Elodea are commonly spread from lake to lake on boat trailers.  Fragments of these species can remain viable for a number of days and upon entry to a new lake, float off to grow roots and gain a foot hold.  Other invasive species are moving into our Country via ballast water in commercial shipping.  Ocean going vessels have to take on water to balance their weight, especially if they are moving one way without maximum cargo.  They discharge that water in the next port where they take on cargo, and any organisms they transport are then introduced.  It is suspected that Eurasian Milfoil came into our Country in this fashion during World War Two, other examples are the Chinese mitten crab that is invading the Sacramento River Delta.

Some states recognize the threat posed by transport of invasive species and tax the vector.   Washington State for example has a boat trailer tax of $3.00 per year that goes into a fund to combat invasive weeds, and that is something that most people don’t think twice before paying.  California on the other hand is again faced with a court decision that may cost boaters dearly.  In order to comply with a judges order, the state may be forced to tax each boater $1,500.  Read the article below and keep tuned for this one.



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