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Posted on: February 22, 2021

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

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February 22-28, 2021 is National Invasive Species Awareness Week.  Invasive species impact everyone. When not monitored or controlled, invasive species can cause harm to our economy, environment, or human health. The term "invasive" is used for aggressive species that grow and reproduce rapidly, displace native species, and cause major disturbance to the areas in which they are present. Invasive species, if left uncontrolled, can and will limit land and water use now and into the future.

Invasive species can be found in many forms. From plans such as Phragmites, Dames Spire, or the aquatic Starry Stonewort, to animals such as the Spotted Lanternfly, Eurasian Collard Dove, Asian Carp, or Zebra Mussels, each poses a danger to the native habitat.  Some species may be beautiful, some even mimic native species, but it is important to know how to identify and report invasive species in your area to preserve the native biodiversity.

Learn more on how to identify local invasives through various programs such as:

MISIN Species Training Modules - The invasive species education modules will help you become more comfortable with identifying these species in the field

Not MI Species Webinar Series - This webinar series will explore how agencies, universities and locally led organizations are working together to protect Michigan’s natural resources through the Michigan Invasive Species Program

MI Paddle Stewards - Michigan Sea Grant is enlisting paddlers in a fight to protect the waters they love through the MI Paddle Stewards program.

Report Invasives using tools like:

Michigan Invasive Species Information Network's mobile application

State of Michigan's Species Profiles and Reporting Information website



Starry Stonewort

With new state and national administrations in 2021 comes a renewed effort to educate decision-makers on the long-term ecological devastation and cost of invasive species. 

The good news is that solutions start at home. By taking some basic care, you can greatly reduce the risk of spreading invasive species to the places that you love. Here’s how:

  • Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles, and other gear in between outings.
  • Take extra care when traveling, gardening, or moving recently killed plant material. Buy your plants from a reputable source and plant native species to support your local ecosystem. Avoid using invasive plant species at all costs.
  • Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.

 

Follow NISAW on Facebook at @invasivespeciesweek, join the conversation, and link your social posts with #NISAW or #invasivespecies.

(Above- Starry Stonewort, an aquatic invasive species)

 

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