State agencies encourage partners to start planning virtual events
The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation, and Agriculture and Markets announced the seventh annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be held June 7-13. ISAW is an annual educational campaign featuring numerous statewide events focused on invasive species.
During the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, organizations are encouraged to plan virtual experiences and events that incorporate social distancing guidelines and give New Yorkers the opportunity to participate from the safety of their homes.
“New York state agencies and local groups held more than 180 events across the state in 2019, raising awareness about invasive species and encouraging New Yorkers to become active in protecting their communities,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “DEC encourages academic institutions, environmental organizations, municipal groups and others to work with their local Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) to develop new programs, including virtual programs accessible online, for the seventh annual Invasive Species Awareness Week.”
"New Yorkers are a critical component of our invasive species outreach programs, helping us to monitor for invasives and slow the damage that they do to our natural resources and agricultural industries,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “We encourage New Yorkers to take part in some virtual experiences this Invasive Species Awareness Week and learn more about how to spot these non-native species and protect our agricultural industry and the environment.”
Initiated in 2014, ISAW’s goal is to engage citizens in activities that promote an understanding of invasive species and their negative impacts and empower people to take action to help stop the spread of these invasive pests. New York is particularly vulnerable to invasive species due to its role as a center for international trade and travel. Managing invasive species is a long-term effort and requires collaboration from state agencies, stakeholder organizations and the public.
Partners 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, with a new focus on virtual programs and experiences.
Partners can provide local PRISM coordinators with information about local events by Monday, May 25, to ensure they can be added to the statewide list. To learn more about ISAW, or to find a local PRISM website, visit the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week website (leaves DEC website).