Leelanau News and Events

Lake Leelanau’s First Ever Boat Cleaning Station Is Ready For Action At Bingham Launch

By Emily Tyra | Sept. 15, 2021

The Lake Leelanau Lake Association (LLLA) and Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians (GTB) have partnered to acquire and operate Lake Leelanau’s first boat cleaning station. The new CD3 solar-powered kiosk is one piece of the big-picture battle being waged against invasive species on the lake.

The boat cleaning kiosk was installed with an official signoff from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and representatives from LLLA and GTB were at the at the DNR’s Bingham boat launch yesterday for a ribbon-cutting.

Lake Leelanau has a total of 11 public boat launches, making the lake particularly vulnerable to the introduction of invasive species. Nancy Popa of the LLLA says the Bingham launch — with the most parking spaces of any of the launches — is the most heavily trafficked on the lake.

She notes that prevention is key: “Our biggest challenge is to get boaters to understand that the only way to prevent invasive species is for every boater to ensure that their boat is free of invasive species prior to putting it in the lake.” 

The LLLA is tackling awareness through an education campaign using the slogan “CLEAN, DRAIN & DRY.” Popa says the plan is to continue to provide the boat cleaning tools, as funding permits.

The boat cleaning station takes approximately 3 to 5 minutes to use. “Boaters can use the station while waiting to launch,” says Popa. “And boaters can clean their boats at home too. The key is to remove all water in the bilge area and live wells — as well as disposing of any live bait — and rinse off the exterior to remove any aquatic organisms.”

The boat cleaning kiosk was purchased with both GTB and LLLA dollars, with a total project cost of around $43k.

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