Boating and fishing outreach events to celebrate Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week

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70 boat landing events are planned across the state to celebrate this year’s Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week from July 3-9. Public awareness of the impacts of harmful non-native aquatic plants and animals is critical to protecting Michigan’s ecosystems, tourism and economy.

The boat landing events are part of the ninth annual Landing Blitz, where representatives from Departments of State and local partners such as Maritime Associations and Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas provide boaters with tips to help prevent the spread of invasive species and comply with recently updated laws. You can search for an event near you on the Landing Blitz website. Similar AIS Landing Blitz events will be held in each Great Lakes state and Canadian provinces.

“Recreational boaters and anglers can play a key role in preventing the spread of invasive species,” said Kevin Walters, aquatic biologist at EGLE. “Rather than spreading invasive species, we’re asking people to help spread the word about simple steps that can be taken when recovering in Michigan’s waters.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation during Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week to raise awareness of this important issue to stop the spread of invasive aquatic plants and organisms.

Help prevent the spread of invasive species in the water by following these simple steps:

Required Actions – That’s Michigan law

  • Remove all aquatic organisms, including plants, from watercraft and trailers before launching or transporting them.
  • Before transporting a watercraft, remove all drain plugs and drain all water from bilges, ballast tanks and water wells.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash, not in the water.

Recommended Additional Actions – Protect our waters by following these steps

  • Clean Boats, trailers and equipment by removing vegetation, debris and mud before exiting the access area. If possible, dispose of the material in a garbage can or other way out of the body of water.
  • To wash Boats and trailers before leaving the access area if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.
  • Dry Boats and gear for five days before being launched into another body of water.
  • Disinfect live wells and bilges with a bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water.)

A short EGLE video from a previous Landing Blitz shows how easy it is to clean, drain and dry boats and trailers.

Boat launch events are subject to weather and volunteer availability. Contact Kevin Walters for a list of events.

AIS Awareness Week is sponsored by EGLE’s Water Resources Division in partnership with the Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development, federal agencies, and private and not-for-profit organizations. For more information about AIS Awareness Week or the AIS Landing Blitz, visit Michigan’s Invasive Species website at Michigan.gov/Invasives.

caption: Person washes boat at boat wash station at Higgins Lake. Photo courtesy of DNR.

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