International effort raises awareness to prevent spread of aquatic invasive species
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in partnership with seven Great Lakes states, six northeast states, and six Canadian provinces, announced the newly expanded annual aquatic invasive species landing blitz. This international campaign informs boaters and the general public about the risks of introducing and spreading aquatic invasive species (AIS).
The campaign kicks off on Friday, July 1, and runs through July 10. During this coordinated outreach effort, partners will educate the public at hundreds of water access sites throughout the Great Lakes and northeast.
"New York state is focused on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, and partnerships like the annual AIS landing blitz are an essential part of our comprehensive efforts to engage New Yorkers and our visitors on the steps they can take protect our world-class waterways," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "We are proud to once again work with our international, federal, state and local partners on this year’s blitz, which further amplifies the strategic efforts underway through DEC’s boat steward program and other efforts to provide boaters the information they need inspire actions to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species."
“Aquatic invasive species don’t respect political boundaries, so the states and provinces must continue to work together through successful partnerships like the annual AIS landing blitz to prevent new invasions and reduce the damage from species already here,” said Great Lakes Commission Chair Todd Ambs of Wisconsin. “The GLC is proud to support this partnership to communicate directly with the public at landing sites across the basin.”
During last year's AIS landing blitz, partners connected with 139,000 people at more than 1,100 public and private boat landings across the Great Lakes region. DEC's boat stewards alone have already performed more than 60,000 inspections and intercepted more than 2,750 AIS this season at boat launches throughout New York.
This year, DEC is focusing on digital marketing strategies and coordinated social media outreach during the blitz to bolster continuing efforts to increase public knowledge of AIS issues and how to clean, drain, dry and disinfect boats and gear.
For more information on the Great Lakes and northeast AIS landing blitz, including educational materials, location information and volunteer opportunities, visit the Great Lakes aquatic invasive species landing blitz webpage and the northeast AIS landing blitz.
Visit DEC's website for more information on AIS and a step-by-step guide for ridding boats and equipment of AIS. DEC also recently released a public service announcement (PSA) to remind boaters to clean, drain and dry their watercraft to protect New York’s waters. The PSA is now available on DEC's YouTube page.