Announcing the launch of #MIspecies: a campaign to raise awareness of Michigan’s aquatic invasive species

Science Around Michigan is proud to partner with West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) and the West Michigan Cluster of The Stewardship Network to launch #MIspecies, a campaign to raise awareness about the environmental and economic impact of aquatic invasive species around Michigan and the Great Lakes.

The campaign will last for the entirety of Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 3 – 9. But we hope to see it grow and continue beyond our initial efforts.

How can you participate?

It’s easy. Visit our new resource, Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week 2016, to learn more. Also visit the newly updated http://www.michigan.gov/Invasives and follow along with the #MIspecies hashtag to learn about ways that you can make a difference.

It might look small, but it has an enormous impact

“It is very easy to look at some of these invasive insects and fish that are so small and think that there is no way they can be that bad or do that much damage, but that is not true,” explained Drew Rayner of West Michigan CISMA. “Things like the spiny water flea or the New Zealand mud snail are very small but can do a lot of damage and negatively impact the food chain of our native and desirable fish.”

More than 180 non-native aquatic invasive species have been introduced to the Great Lakes, many of which are displacing native fish and plant species; destroying natural habitats; damaging property and managed landscapes. The impact on aquatic ecosystems results in millions of dollars in damages and costs to mitigate further spread.

“Stopping the invasion of invasive species like Asian carp and controlling the species already here like zebra mussels are both important fights that we cannot afford to lose,” said State Senator Dale Zorn, vice-chairman of the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee.

About West Michigan CISMA

The West Michigan CISMA covers Allegan, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and Ottawa Counties. This organization is a volunteer organization composed of environmental groups, governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, and private citizens all working together to address invasive species on a local scale. The goal of this group is provide outreach on invasive species and their impacts as well conducting invasive species management on both public and private land.

This project was funded in part with funds from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program through the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Link: http://www.michiganinvasives.org/westmichigancisma/

About the West Michigan Cluster of The Stewardship Network

Formed in 2006, the West Michigan Cluster of the Stewardship Network is a sustainable and effective collaboration of environmental groups, educational institutions, governmental organizations, and private citizens working to conserve and enhance our natural communities through ecosystem restoration and public education.

Link: https://www.stewardshipnetwork.org/clusters/west-michigan-cluster

About Science Around Michigan

Science Around Michigan is a science communication project concerned with making science accessible, understandable, and interesting. The project bridges the gap between science and the general public, helping connect scientists with the communities they work in and bringing attention to important issues of public interest.

Contact:

Adrian de Novato
adrian@sciencemi.org
www.sciencemi.org/ais2016

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