Aquatic invasive species are spread by overland transport of watercraft, trailers, and fishing and recreational equipment. The most effective way to prevent spread is through education and equipment inspections designed to catch invasive species "hitching a ride" from one waterbody to another. Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species is far more effective and economically sensible than eradicating invasive species once they are established. With support from Vermont DEC, Public Access Greeters educate lake visitors about invasive species, provide courtesy watercraft inspections, and STOP introductions.
Since 2002, the Vermont Public Access Greeter Program has expanded operation to access points at 34 lakes and ponds statewide, and those numbers are increasing annually. The total number of inspected watercrafts has increased since the program's inception, with 404 inspected in 2002 to 27,141 in 2023. In 2023, Greeters intercepted and removed 580 instances of aquatic invasive species. Of these AIS intercepts, 554 were Eurasian watermilfoil.
To find a Public Access Greeter Station or Watercraft Decontamination near you, see the AIS Map.
Boat Access Greeter Duties
- Approaching and interacting with boaters
- Inspecting watercraft
- Identifying and handling suspicious specimens
- Collecting and reporting data
- Distributing educational material on aquatic invasive species
Annual Greeter Program Training
All Vermont Public Access Greeters and Coordinators are required to attend annual Greeter Program Trainings. The trainings include up-to-date information about the program and professional development techniques. Some of the topics include:
Aquatic invasive species biology, threats to Vermont, and the importance of spread prevention
Access area rules and regulations, invasive species laws
Tips on delivering invasive species messages and interacting with the public
How to inspect watercraft and data collection methods
Program Materials and Supplies
If you currently run a program or want to start a new program, we provide a “Greeter on Duty” welcoming sandwich board for each program, “Access Greeter” t-shirts and training manual for each greeter, up-to-date informational literature for public distribution, and other giveaways for the boating public designed to promote the "Clean, Drain, Dry" message.
If you are interested in starting a greeter program, hosting a training workshop or learning more about aquatic invasive species, contact Olin Reed at Olin.Reed@vermont.gov or (802) 490-6121
Greeter Training Information
The 2024 Greeter Training Schedule will be developed in early Spring, 2024 and will be posted here once set. Please check this webpage to find out the updated schedule. The 2023 Greeter Schedule is been posted HERE
The 2024 Vermont Public Access Greeter Program Trainings will be similar to last year, comprised of online and in-person training, one which will include a decon demonstration. The online workshops will be via teams during April, May, and June. The trainings will be required for all staff and volunteers, including Greeter Coordinators, and returning, new, volunteer, or staff Greeters. The trainings will not be taped or available in webinars. During the next month, updates, publications, and resources will be added to this webpage as they are developed. Please check these sources to stay informed of the progress. For more information, please contact Olin Reed at Olin.Reed@vermont.gov.
Registration will be required and a Teams Workshop link will be sent to the e-mail provided to participate in the online workshop, and they are also provided on the training schedule.