Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz

Registration for the 2019 AIS Landing Blitz is now closed.

The AIS Landing Blitz is a collaborative outreach campaign and part of AIS Awareness Week in Michigan to raise awareness about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species through recreational boating and related activities.  This year’s event period will be from June 28 – July 7, 2019 and will again include both weekends surrounding the July 4th holiday. 

The AIS Landing Blitz is a collaborative outreach campaign to raise awareness about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species through recreational boating and related activities. This year’s Landing Blitz will build on the previous events (Michigan had 86 host locations in 2018!).  Local volunteer partners will deliver consistent messaging about preventing the introduction and spread of AIS from the movement of watercraft and equipment between water bodies at both public and private boating access sites throughout the state. Media involvement (press releases, local news stories, social media, etc.) will also be used to create a larger impact.
 
More specifically, local partners such as lake associations, conservation districts, Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) and others will be empowered to meet with boaters during the event period to deliver messaging that includes:
As a host participant, you’ll need to commit to hosting the event at a local boating access site on the date/s and time of your choosing within the event period and provide at least a couple of volunteers to interact with boaters and deliver messaging during the event [See the summary at the end of this email for a list of “to-do’s” for host participants].  To officially sign-up for the event, simply send an email to Kevin Walters at EGLE (waltersk3@michigan.gov) with your name, mailing address, location for your local event and the date/s during the June 28 to July 7 event period during which you plan to host the event.  All registered host locations will receive outreach materials (examples include key chains, rack cards, towels, etc.) and a digital event handbook (attached) with messaging tips and FAQs.
 
EGLE, DNR, and MDARD will support host locations by providing the above referenced outreach materials and messaging handbook along with a statewide press release promoting the AIS Landing Blitz.  Kevin Walters (EGLE  Aquatic Biologist) will also be hosting a pre-event teleconference call in late June to answer any questions and make sure each host location is comfortable with messaging and expectations for the event.  Specific information about participating in the teleconference call will be provided to registered hosts.
 
New for 2019: This year’s event will be a Great Lakes Regional AIS Landing Blitz and include events not only in Michigan, but also in each of the other Great Lakes states and provinces.  The “on the ground” efforts of all the sites hosts and volunteers in Michigan will not change, but the overall impact and reach of the event should be larger since other states and provinces are participating during the same event period.    
 
Below is a brief summary of what volunteer hosts are committing to by participating in the Landing Blitz.
 
What volunteers (lake associations, etc.) do:
  • At least 1 month in advance of the event:
  • Select a boating access site/launch ramp and get any need approvals from site manager.
  • Choose a date/s and time within the event period (Events can range from 1 hour on 1 specific date to several hours over multiple days).
  • Assemble a landing blitz volunteer team (3-5 people is a good number).
  • Register your landing blitz event by emailing Kevin Walters (EGLE) at waltersk3@michigan.gov. Registration emails should include: 
    • Host name and affiliation (Both individual host name and lake association)
    • Location (lake, county, ramp location)
    • Date/s & time 
    • Mailing address where you would like outreach materials sent
  • Share information about the event via social media, local media and neighborhood groups to help promote awareness.
  • Receive your messaging information and outreach materials from EGLE via postal mail at the address indicated on your registration.
  • Optional: Arrange for a boat wash to be present during your event.
June:
  • Tune in to the pre-event teleconference to have questions answered and hear more about the event details. Teleconference information (date, time, call-in number) will be provided to all registered hosts sometime in May.
Just before the event:
  • Meet with your volunteer team before the event and share messaging info.
Event day/s:
  • Set up a table, chairs and maybe a canopy.
  • Talk to boaters and share the importance of cleaning boats and gear to prevent the spread of AIS.
  • Keep track of how many boaters you spoke to.
Post-event:
  • Submit the event survey. 
What EGLE/DNR/MDARD do:
  • Handle statewide coordination and promotion of the events
  • Register event hosts
  • Send out packets with messaging information and outreach materials
  • Use statewide press and social media to advertise the overall AIS Landing Blitz event (Specific locations and dates for individual efforts are NOT included, as these can change with weather, etc.)
  • Host a pre-event teleconference call to answer any questions and make sure all hosts are comfortable with the messaging and logistics of the events.
  • Obtain Governor’s proclamation of “AIS Awareness Week” to coincide with Landing Blitz event period.
For more information, please contact Kevin Walters (waltersk3@michigan.gov) with EGLE.