Do your part during National Invasive Species Awareness Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Editor's note: This announcement was issued earlier by the Department of Natural Resources.

May 19, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer, AssendelftN@Michigan.gov, 517-388-3135

The North American Invasive Species Management Association has declared May 15-22 as National Invasive Species Awareness Week, an international event to raise awareness about the threat these species pose and what can be done to prevent their spread. National Invasive Species Awareness Week logo

According to NAISMA, invasive species - those that are not native and can cause harm to the environment, economy or human health - cost the U.S. $120 billion annually.

"Invasive species are a continent-wide problem that starts at home," said NAISMA Director Belle Bergner. "Find a local event to learn how our invasive species managers and nonprofit organization leaders work hard making sure our lands and waters are friendly to native species of North America."

Be a CISMA champion

Michigan's 22 cooperative invasive species management areas assist and support communities across the state. Find your local CISMA at Michigan.gov/Invasives and:

  • Volunteer to host or assist in an aquatic invasive species landing blitz at a nearby boat launch.
  • Arrange an invasive species presentation or work bee for a club or organization you belong to.
  • Learn about and help promote local CISMA programs.
  • Find out how your business can reduce the spread of invasive species.

Become a volunteer steward

If spring has you eager to get outdoors, lend a hand removing invasive plants at state parks. Volunteer stewardship workdays are scheduled for several state parks in southern Michigan in May. Check  the DNR volunteer calendar for individual event details.

Advance registration is required, and participation may be limited due to social distancing requirements.

Although these are outdoor programs with room to spread out, everyone is encouraged to wear face coverings as an added precaution.

Adopt eco-friendly habits

No matter what type of outdoor recreation you enjoy, you and your friends and family can take simple steps against invasive species:

  • Hikers: Keep a scrub brush in your vehicle to clean off boots and gear before and after you hit the trail.
  • Bikers and motorized trail users: Wash off mud and debris from bikes, ATVs and trailers between rides.
  • Boaters: Remove drain plugs, drain all water from tanks and wells, and remove all weeds and debris from your boat and trailer before getting on the road.
  • Campers: Choose certified, heat-treated firewood when available or buy firewood at or near your destination. Don't take leftover firewood to a new location.

"Everyone can do something to prevent invasive species from taking over agricultural and natural environments, and we encourage organizations and individuals to take leadership teaching their community about how to solve invasive species issues locally," said Bergner.

Explore more tips and resources at Michigan.gov/Invasives.

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