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Boating, fishing outreach events to mark Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 3-9

More than 70 boat landing events are planned across Michigan to mark this year’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Awareness Week, July 3-9. Public awareness about the impacts of harmful, nonnative aquatic plants and animals is critical to protecting Michigan’s ecosystems, tourism, and economy.

The boat landing events are part of the ninth annual Landing Blitz, in which representatives of state departments and local partners such as lake associations and cooperative invasive species management areas give boaters tips to prevent the spread of invasive species and comply with recently updated laws. The Landing Blitz website allows you to search for an event near you. Similar AIS Landing Blitz events will be held in each of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a proclamation to mark Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week, raising awareness about this important issue to stop the spread of invasive aquatic plants and organisms.

Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by following these simple steps:

Required actions – it’s the law in Michigan

  • Remove all aquatic organisms, including plants, from watercraft and trailers before launching or transporting.
  • Remove all drain plugs and drain all water from bilges, ballast tanks, and live wells before transporting a watercraft.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash, not in the water.

Recommended additional actions – protect our waters by following these steps

  • Clean boats, trailers and equipment by removing plants, debris, and mud before leaving the access area. Dispose of the material in a trash receptacle or otherwise away from the water body, if possible.
  • Wash boats and trailers before leaving the access area, if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.
  • Dry boats and equipment for five days before launching into a different water body.
  • Disinfect live wells and bilges with a bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to five gallons water).

A short EGLE video from a past Landing Blitz shows how easy it is to clean, drain, and dry boats and trailers.

“Recreational boaters and anglers can play a key role in helping prevent the spread of invasive species,” said Kevin Walters, aquatic biologist with EGLE. “Instead of spreading invasive species, we’re asking people to help spread the word about simple steps that can be taken when out recreating on Michigan’s waters.”

Events at boat launches are contingent on weather and volunteer availability. Contact Kevin Walters for a list of events.

AIS Awareness Week is sponsored by EGLE’s Water Resources Division, in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, federal agencies, and private and nonprofit organizations. For more information about AIS Awareness Week or the AIS Landing Blitz, visit Michigan’s invasive species website, Michigan.gov/Invasives.

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