The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (AGM) today announced that the State’s ninth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) begins Monday, June 6. Free public events and invasive species challenges are offered from June 6 to 12 across the State and online, including daily webinars at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Governor Kathy Hochul issued a proclamation designating ISAW to support the annual campaign to encourage New Yorkers to learn more and participate in the fight against the negative impacts of invasive species.
“Invasive Species Awareness Week is an excellent opportunity for New Yorkers to learn about invasive species and the comprehensive efforts underway thanks to investments by Governor Kathy Hochul to combat the threats they pose to our environment, agriculture systems and economy,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “We encourage New Yorkers to join our experts and partners this week to learn what they can do.”
“Invasive species can have a costly impact on agriculture, the environment, and our economy,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “During Invasive Species Awareness Week, I encourage all New Yorkers, including farmers and members of our agricultural community, to get involved in watching for and reporting signs of these destructive pests. We can all play a part in keeping invasive species from spreading and protecting our natural resources.”
Invasive species are plants, animals, insects, and pathogens that are not native to an area and cause harm to the environment, agriculture, economy, or public health. New York is particularly vulnerable to these pests due to its role as a center for international trade and travel.
“Invasive Species Awareness Week highlights the devastating effects these species have on our native biodiversity,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “Education and citizen training can make a difference in preventing and detecting invasive species to preserve healthy forests, water bodies, and other significant habitats and rare species in State Parks. I encourage park visitors to learn how they help prevent the spread of harmful invasive species.”
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “This week, all New Yorkers have the opportunity to learn more about the environmental and economic threats invasive species pose to our state and how their understanding of this issue and future proactive actions will assist us in mitigating the spread of invasive species. The Canal Corporation, working in collaboration with DEC, has implemented risk reduction strategies along the Champlain Canal this navigation season to protect Lake Champlain from the round goby, an aquatic invasives species, and we encourage all mariners and anglers to do their part as we work to ensure the resiliency of the Canal and the local economies along it.”
Scheduled events include:
- Statewide webinars on a variety of topics including “Native Alternatives to Common Invasive Garden Plants”, “State of the Science: Harmful Algal Blooms & Invasive Species”, and “Aquatic Invasive Species Info for Lake Lovers.”
- Guided hikes and paddles to learn how to identify and remove invasive species.
- Screenings of Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species.
Anyone interested in participating in an ISAW event, including the daily webinars, is encouraged to visit the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week Events webpage to find a complete list of offerings in their area. The Monday, June 6, webinar at 1 p.m. will highlight the events scheduled for ISAW 2022 and discuss New York’s collaborative invasive species network that includes Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management, or PRISMs.
Everyone can make a difference in the fight against invasives by helping to locate and map infestations, using only local firewood, properly cleaning watercraft before and after boating, cleaning dirt off boots after hiking, or removing invasive species from the yard. To learn more about invasive species and how to get involved, visit DEC’s website.
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