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Updates and Frequently Asked Questions


Guidance on Clean Boats, Clean Waters Watercraft Inspections During COVID-19 - April 12, 2021

This information is meant to provide recommendations for watercraft inspectors around the state who are healthy and want to conduct watercraft inspections. These guidelines provide ways to conduct watercraft inspections while following recommended safety precautions. However, please assess your own risk and be aware of COVID-19 activity and hospital capacity in your county or region. Watercraft inspection is a voluntary activity. Please put your health and safety first. 

CBCW Trainings:

  • Conduct online OR hold outdoors in groups of 10 or less.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Confirm that attendees have self-screened for common COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Require face coverings during in-person trainings.
    • If an attendee cannot wear a face covering due to documented health concerns, it is recommended that the individual wear a face shield.
  • Travel to training separately, unless from within the same household.

CBCW Watercraft Inspectors:

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others and their boats/equipment.
    • If you are suddenly unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from others, remove yourself to a safe location where you can observe and allow your presence and friendly wave to be a positive reminder of AIS prevention for others.
  • Use a face mask when there are additional people at the landing.
  • Have access to hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content).
  • Assist boaters/anglers with plant removal as requested.
  • Offer AIS brochures, stickers, or other publications to landing visitors.

Additional resources:

If you have further questions, please contact your local AIS Coordinator (if uncertain, find out who that is here) or Erin McFarlane, Statewide CBCW Educator, at

These guidelines are also available as a one-page handout. Download the PDF handout HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are we required to follow the 2021 CBCW COVID-19 guidelines to be reimbursed for the grant?

The recommendations provided to grantees for volunteer and paid inspector’s activities are not requirements, but merely suggested best management practices to help increase the safety of CBCW volunteers and grantees. CBCW grant activities are still being reimbursed as long as they are within the scope of the original grant agreement. If your organization is prepared to begin inspections and approves of moving forward with inspections, you are able to do so as long as you are still following the rules of your local jurisdiction and the boat landing owner.

What happens if we do not meet the 200-hour per landing requirement for our CBCW grant?

If only some of the hours are met, then we could do a partial final payment to reflect the hours that were completed. Generally, that is calculated by: 

(number of hours completed at a landing)/(200 hours)=% of hours completed. 

We take that % and multiply it by the grant award to figure out the maximum award that can be paid out at the end of the grant. That way, you can still be reimbursed for most of the grant award even if you are only able to complete a portion of the hours. This does not impact future chances of getting a CBCW grant award or amount awarded for the next year at all. See the question below if you do not think you will be able to complete the grant at all this summer.

What if we are not able to complete our grant over the summer? What will happen to our grant?

If your organization feels that completing CBCW activities this summer would be unsafe or you encounter other coronavirus-related challenges, we are able to discuss a time extension for the grant into next summer. This would effectively convert the grant to cover the summer of 2022, and you would not need to apply for a grant this fall. You can hold on to the advanced payment you have already received in anticipation of completing grant activities as normal next year. From the DNR’s perspective, it is better to extend your grant into next year than to cancel the grant. You must contact as soon as possible if this option would work best for your organization to work on a grant amendment.

Who do I contact about further questions on CBCW grants or other Surface Water Grants?

CBCW inquires may be sent directly to For questions on your other Surface Water Grants, your biologist and environmental grants specialist are available to answer your questions. Please work in close collaboration with your biologists and environmental grant specialists to determine the best course of action and discuss any potential project changes PRIOR to incurring costs not included within your project application scope and budget. We encourage you to communicate via email as staff are working remotely.

Where and how do I order the free CBCW masks for my inspectors?

The CBCW cloth face masks are available to order from the CBCW online store. These free reusable, 4-ply masks are available to all watercraft inspectors to use while working at the boat landing. Please limit your order to two masks per inspector. If you need to place an order for more than 10 masks, please email Erin McFarlane (, and she will help facilitate your order.

Find more details about the masks and place your order for two free masks here.

What training opportunities are there for inspectors and are they impacted by COVID-19? Who do I contact to find training options in my area?

If you’re looking for CBCW training opportunities this year, be sure to check the CBCW Training calendar to see what is available. On the calendar, you can find trainings specific to your county/area, as well as trainings that will be conducted from a statewide perspective. AIS staff are working to offer online or in-person trainings while following safety precautions recommended by the state and CDC. 

Don’t see a training listed for your county? Reach out to your local AIS Coordinator (find out who that is here) and ask if they have any trainings planned.


For more information contact:

Erin McFarlane, Statewide CBCW Educator
(715) 346-4978 or​


Or go to:


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources site
at (exit UWEX Lakes)​​


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