2006 Walter Windus from SPA first ran across the issue of AIS, specifically Zebra and Quagga Mussels and recognized that it could kill seaplane activities. Over the next few years he presented the topic to the SPA Board each year gaining more traction.
2009 The topic was added to the SPA meeting agenda for the following January and covered in greater detail, clearly pointing out the potential problems for seaplanes. In doing research he’d run across the 100th Meridian Initiative and the boating video that they produced with the financial backing of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission(PSMF).
2010 Walter’s efforts resulted in The Washington Seaplane Pilots Association (WSPA) being approached by SPA. The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s(USFWS) 100th Meridian Initiative, Pacific States Marine Fisheries(PSMF) received funding from a US Department of Fish and Wildlife grant to produced the seaplane training video “Don’t Move a Mussel.” While this was a great success, the boating and seaplane communities didn’t seem to take the threat too seriously.
2014 The USFWS’s Western Regional Panel (WRP) was following through on the efforts of the 100th Meridian Initiative. Under a directive from the Western Governors Association (WGA), the National Sea Grant Law Center (NSGLC) established a standard for Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination(WID) to be followed by the western states.
2016 The NSGLC’s MODEL REGULATION(MR) was finalized and presented to the WGA as an expectation for standardization among the western states.
2017 Things had been real quiet on the “western front” until the fall. The Flathead Basin Commission proposed a complete Seaplane Ban on all waters in the Flathead Basin and the Western Governors were pushing for laws to require WID for the entire Columbia Basin.
2018 The seaplane Community came together with a collaborative effort and a Unified Plan to work within the framework of the MR to become authorized under a Third Party Provision to be able to inspect our own aircraft.
It appears to be working:
5/20/2019 - PROGRAM APPROVAL in 4 states so far . . .
The water managers of the western states have recognized our efforts. We are the only user group working to be proactive with our own inspection and decontamination program, NOW AUTHORIZED in 4 states, hopefully with more to follow . . . stay tuned.