State Senator Dale Zorn encourages Michigan citizens to learn about the environmental and economic impact of aquatic invasive species and how to prevent them.In a statement published yesterday, Zorn spoke about his resolution to declare the week of July 3 – 9 as Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.
“Raising public awareness and engaging the people in the fight against aquatic invasive species are the best actions we can take to protect the health of the Great Lakes, Michigan’s inland lakes and our economy,” said Zorn. “As outdoor enthusiasts head out to enjoy boating or experience some of the world’s greatest fishing, this awareness week gives us a chance to enlist them in helping prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.”
State Senator Zorn serves as vice-chairman of the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee. The importance of raising public awareness about the economic and environmental impact of aquatic invasive species is a natural area of concern for him. “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.”
“Our state and economy are defined by the Great Lakes and depend on a safe and healthy fresh water system for numerous uses. Aquatic invasive species have the potential to devastate our ecosystems; our fishing, boating and tourism industries; and the livelihoods of thousands of Michigan families.”
Zorn’s resolution is part of a larger campaign by experts and organizations like Science Around Michigan and West Michigan CISMA to raise awareness where it will be most effective. Millions of taxpayer dollars are spent each year in an effort to control the spread and growth of damaging aquatic invasive species that affect waters used by fishermen and recreational boaters.
“Michigan has more than 900,000 registered boaters, and they can play a key role in preventing the accidental spreading of invasive species,” Zorn said. “We urge boaters to simply take a few proactive steps, such as washing boats and trailers before leaving access areas and drying boats and equipment for at least five days before launching into a different body of water.”