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State departments of Environmental Conservation, Agriculture & Markets announce 8th annual Invasive Species Awareness Week

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Wed, Apr 7th 2021 07:05 pm

State agencies encourage partners to begin planning events June 6-12

The state departments of Environmental Conservation, and Agriculture and Markets, announced New York’s eighth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be held June 6-12. Organizations are encouraged to connect with their local Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) to begin planning events.

“Each year, Invasive Species Awareness Week programs are increasing public awareness of the economic and ecological impacts of invasive species and what each of us can do to prevent their spread,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Public engagement is essential in the fight against invasive pests, so DEC encourages organizations across the state to work with their local PRISMs to offer another round of stellar programs this year.”

“Invasive species like the spotted lanternfly can cause serious damage to our farms and crops,” State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said. “Public awareness and vigilance are key components to preventing the establishment and spread of invasive species in New York state. Events held during Invasive Species Awareness Week help inform the public and encourage people to watch for and report these pests.”

ISAW is an educational campaign featuring statewide events that promote an understanding of invasive species – how they get here, how to recognize them, what their negative impacts are – and empower New Yorkers to take action to protect the state’s resources from their introduction and spread. 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.

Organizations interested in hosting an event should 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. Virtual programs and outdoor activities with social distancing and other protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 are recommended. Examples of past events include:

√ Guided hikes to survey for hemlock woolly adelgid;

√ Water chestnut removals at DEC-owned boat launches;

√ Holding a social media campaign the week of ISAW to raise awareness;

√ Invasive species educational programs for children; and

√ Educational trainings to help identify and survey for invasive species, such as spotted lanternfly. 

Interested partners should provide local PRISM coordinators with information about proposed events by Monday, May 24, to ensure events can be added to the statewide list. To learn more about ISAW, visit the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week website (leaves DEC website).

  • NY Invasive Species Advisory Committee, Chair: Renee St. Jacques, New York Farm Bureau, Assistant Director of Public Policy, [email protected], 518-436-8495
  • 2021 ISAW Planning Committee Chair: Molly Hassett, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, [email protected]
  • Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) Staff:
  • Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, Tammara Van Ryn, [email protected], 518-576-2082
  • Capital Mohawk, Kristopher Williams, [email protected], 518-885-8995
  • Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership, John Thompson, [email protected], 845-586-2611
  • Finger Lakes, Hilary Mosher, [email protected], 315-781-4385
  • Long Island Invasive Species Management Area, Bill Jacobs, [email protected], 631-525-1125
  • Lower Hudson, Linda Rohleder, [email protected], 201-512-9348, ext. 821
  • Lawrence and Eastern Lake Ontario, Megan Pistolese, [email protected], 315-387-3600, ext. 7724
  • Western New York, Andrea Locke, [email protected], 716-878-4708

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