DEQ, DNR, MDARD Hosting Boat Launch Events for Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week

DEQ Press Release: 

Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed July 3-9 as Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week in Michigan, and state departments are observing the week with outreach events at more than 50 boat launches statewide.

AIS are non-native aquatic plants and animals that disrupt the natural ecosystem, tourism and the economy.

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(MUCC Photo: European FrogBit takes over a wetland at Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Management Area)

The week is highlighted by the third annual AIS Landing Blitz, an outreach event for boaters held at boat landings around the state. The DEQ is partnering with local volunteers as well as the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist boaters in preventing the spread of these harmful species and complying with current AIS-related laws.

With recent discoveries of invasive New Zealand mudsnails in the Au Sable and Pere Marquette rivers, the week takes on an added importance. Many invasive species, including New Zealand mudsnails, are easily spread by boaters and anglers using their equipment in multiple bodies of water without properly cleaning it.

Anyone enjoying Michigan’s waters can take action to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by following these simple steps:

Required Actions – It’s the Law in Michigan!

  • Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment and boat trailers before launching or placing in the water.
  • Drain live wells, bilges and all water from boats before leaving the access site.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water.
  • Don’t transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught.

Recommended Actions – Protect Our Waters!

  • Inspect and remove plants and mud from boats and trailers and dry equipment before leaving the access area. Dispose of the material in a trash receptacle or otherwise away from the water body if possible.
  • Wash boats and trailers before leaving the access area if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.
  • Dry boats and equipment for at least five days before launching into a different body of water.
  • Disinfect live wells and bilges with bleach solution of 1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water.

The Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland waters draw millions of recreational users and tourists annually, and already face negative impacts from numerous aquatic invasive species. Preventing the introduction of further invasive species is a responsibility for everyone who uses these resources.

Events at boat launches are contingent on weather and local volunteer availability. For an up-to-date list of events, contact Kevin Walters at 517-284-5473 or waltersk3@michigan.gov.

AIS Awareness Week is sponsored by the DEQ’s Water Resources Division with collaborative efforts from other state and federal agencies as well as private and nonprofit organizations. For more information about AIS Awareness Week, the AIS Landing Blitz, or to view the Governor’s proclamation, visit Michigan’s invasive species website atwww.michigan.gov/invasives.

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