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Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz

Boat being checked for invasive species

Boating, fishing outreach events to mark Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week and Landing Blitz July 3-9, 2022

More than 70 boat landing events are planned across the state to mark this year’s Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 3 to July 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. 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 the importance of stopping 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 5 gallons water.)

“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 departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development, federal agencies and private and nonprofit organizations. 

 

TAKE ACTION! Host a Landing Blitz:

Registration information is available in the spring for the annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz. Event hosts can choose any date/s within the event period to host the event at a local boating access site.  To prepare to register your local landing blitz event, please compile the following information.

  • Host name and affiliation (Both individual host name and lake association, CISMA, etc.)
  • Location (lake/waterbody, county, ramp location)
  • Date/s & time for your local event/s
  • Mailing address where you would like outreach materials sent

As a reminder, the Landing Blitz is a collaborative outreach campaign to raise awareness about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) through recreational boating and related activities. This year's Landing Blitz will build on previous events.  Local volunteer partners will deliver consistent messaging ("Clean, Drain, Dry", etc.) 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.  This year's event will again be a Great Lakes Regional AIS Landing Blitz and include events not only in Michigan, but also events in each of the other Great Lakes states and provinces.

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
  • 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.
  • 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 at EGLE (waltersk3@michigan.gov).