What can Michigan residents and visitors do about invasive species in their backyards?

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There are many ways for visitors and residents to help limit the impacts of invasive species.

The North American Invasive Species Management Association has declared February 28 to March 4 National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

This is an event to raise awareness of the threat posed by invasive species and what can be done to prevent their spread. Invasive species are those that are not native and can harm the environment, economy or human health. According to the North American Invasive Species Management Association, invasive species cost the United States $120 billion a year.


Benzie Conservation District’s Aquatic Invasive Species Pathways Program Initiative recognizes the event with a local education campaign to raise awareness of ways people can help stop the spread of invasive plants and animals.

From February 28 through March 4, the program is scheduled to provide educational materials and highlights on invasive species management specific to Northwest Michigan on its social media platforms, Facebook and instagram.

In a press release, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Jane Perrino encouraged residents of northwest Michigan to have a mobile boat wash station ready at local launch sites.

Decontaminating boats before they enter lakes and rivers is one way to help preserve the area’s natural resources and biodiversity, according to a Conservation District press release.

The planning is done now. Contact Perrino for more information at [email protected]

For National Invasive Species Awareness Week, the association also encourages local, state and federal organizations to discuss legislation, policies and improvements that can be made to prevent and manage invasive species, part of the release states. .

“Climate change, agricultural stability and the loss of wild spaces are all compounded when invasive species alter the natural balance of our waters and lands,” the association’s director, Belle Bergner, said in the communicated.

“Fortunately, there is hope. As policymakers take more serious action to address these concerns, now is the time to educate and advocate for the inclusion of invasive species management in the solution to our biggest climate, security, and food and biodiversity,” said Bergner.

Bergner said everyone has a role to play in preventing the spread of invasive species.

“We encourage organizations and individuals to advocate for increased capacity, improved collaboration, and financial support for nationwide invasive species prevention and management in coordination with states, tribes, and local governments,” says Bergner’s statement.

Resources such as invasive species profiles, free coloring pages for children, and information about the Aquatic Invasive Species Pathways Program and the Benzie Conservation District are available online at benziecd.org.

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