Keep them out of our pure Michigan water
This week, July 2-8, 2018 is Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week here in our state. And thanks to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and many partners, there will be outreach and education for boaters and anglers at more than 60 boat launches across the state teaching how to prevent aquatic invasive species from spreading.
Not to be forgotten, is training for those who volunteer or work in Michigan’s lakes, rivers, streams or wetlands. In 2017, MDEQ’s Invasive Species Program sought HRWC’s expertise in developing an invasive species prevention training module specifically for people who work in and around water and natural areas. Now volunteers, researchers, educators, lake associations, dock installers, and landscapers marina owner/operators can take the training module and quiz themselves on what they learned.
The module details the ways in which invasive species hitch a ride on clothing and equipment from one area to the next. It shows best practices, based on MDEQ guidance for cleaning boots, nets, cars, and other equipment (and you!) so that seeds, eggs, and other “vectors” do not travel with you to a site that is free of invasive species.
HRWC will be following this protocol starting with the 2019 season and will distribute special decontamination kits (shown above) and educational materials to volunteer lake and stream monitoring groups state-wide. You can also check out our tips and curated resources on preventing the spread of invasive species HERE and keeping your boat and gear clean HERE.