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DEC, Ag & Markets announce sixth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week July 7-13

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Tue, Apr 2nd 2019 07:00 am

State agencies encourage partners to begin planning events

The State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Agriculture and Markets on Monday announced New York state’s sixth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week will be held July 7-13. Initiated in 2014, ISAW is an educational campaign featuring statewide events that encourage New Yorkers to help protect the state’s resources from the negative impacts of invasive species. Planning is already underway, and this year’s theme is “Early Detection: Explore, Observe, Report.”

“Thanks to the planning efforts of the eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management and their partners and the support from DEC’s Invasive Species Coordination Section, more than 170 events were held statewide in 2018, making it the most successful Invasive Species Awareness Week campaign to date,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “DEC encourages our partners to keep the momentum going this year by providing more opportunities for New Yorkers to learn about invasive species and get involved in their local communities.”

“Invasive species can cause serious damage to our farms and crops,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball. “Public education, awareness and vigilance are key components to preventing the establishment and spread of invasive species in New York state. These events help inform the public and encourage people to watch for, and report, these pests.”

The “early detection” theme is meant to shine a spotlight on the importance of detecting infestations of invasive species early, which increases the success of response efforts. Spotted lanternfly, oak wilt and hydrilla are just a few of the emerging invasives that could or are beginning to have significant impacts in New York. The theme will also help to highlight the soon-to-be-released iMapInvasives 3.0, a revamped version of the New York invasive species database that will have a more user-friendly, mobile-responsive map display.

Organizations interested in hosting an event can visit the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week website (leaves DEC website) for more information. All types of programming and events are encouraged, including removal projects, science trainings and film screenings. Some examples of past events include:

  • A guided hike to survey for hemlock woolly adelgid;
  • Water chestnut removals at DEC-owned boat launches;
  • Tabling at a local farmers’ market with invasive species information; and
  • Invasive species educational programs geared toward children.

Any interested partners should provide their local PRISM coordinator with information about their events by Monday, June 24, to ensure they can be added to the statewide list. To learn more about ISAW, visit the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week website (leaves DEC website). To learn more about iMapInvasives or to sign up for a training, visit the New York iMapInvasives website (leaves DEC website).

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