Raising awareness across the nation
National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is scheduled for February 24 – February 28, 2020 and according to experts with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), it's a topic that deserves everyone’s attention. Non-native plants, animals and pathogens can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation's economy. The damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year.
Participate in events across the nation to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional and national scales. Locate an invasive species event in your state or county and plan your own event using the NISAW Toolkit - where and when it works for you!
Here are 9 ways you can help to raise awareness:
- Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
- Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org
- Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org
- Don't move firewood - instead, buy it where you'll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org and Hungry Pests.
- Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as "weed free."
- Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden and remove any known invaders.
- Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities. Here is a state-by-state list of contacts
- Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
- Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.
Though the impact of invasive species is profound, there are important steps we can take to manage infestations and prevent their spread. It all begins with awareness. To learn more about how you can participate, visit: NISAW.