LANSING– Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a proclamation declaring June 30-July 7, 2019 as Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.
“Michigan’s economy, our jobs and public health all depends on preserving the Great Lakes,” said Whitmer. “When species are introduced that are not native to our environment, they have a high potential to harm human health and our natural, agricultural resources. Preventing the introduction of aquatic invasive species greatly benefits our state. When we work towards stopping these invasive species, we can protect our Great Lakes while reducing the costly methods we must use to control and manage them.”
Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week will be highlighted by the sixth annual AIS Landing Blitz, an event held at boat landings around the state. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is partnering with local volunteers, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to give boaters tips to prevent the spread of harmful species and comply with recently-updated laws. This year, the AIS Landing Blitz has expanded to include events in each of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces.
“Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week reminds us that we all have a responsibility to guard our waters against this ever-present threat,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger. “Over the next week, volunteers will be at boat launches around the state helping people to clean, drain and dry their boats, trailers and gear. This is one of the best ways to prevent spreading harmful invaders. Let’s all do our part to protect Michigan’s lakes, rivers and streams.”
There are over 180 nonindigenous aquatic species established in the Great Lakes basin, and many of this are displacing native species. Michigan has over 11,000 inland lakes and over 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, many of which are impacted by aquatic invasive species.