LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a resolution sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn declaring June 28 – July 4 as Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.
“Engaging the people is the greatest protection we have against the real threat aquatic invasive species pose to the health of the Great Lakes, Michigan’s inland lakes and our economy,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “At a time when families and tourists are heading out on Michigan’s waters to enjoy boating or to experience some of the world’s greatest fishing, this awareness week is an opportunity to remind everyone of the critical role they can play in the fight against the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.”
Senate Resolution 74 encourages residents to increase their understanding and awareness of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and their ecological and economic impacts, and to take preventative measures to help stop the spread and introduction of the species in Michigan.
“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 Zorn, vice-chair of the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee. “These species have the potential to devastate our ecosystems; our fishing, boating and tourism industries; and the livelihoods of thousands of Michigan families.”
SR 74 states that more than 180 nonindigenous AIS have been introduced to the Great Lakes, many of which are displacing native species; disrupting habitats; and degrading natural, managed and agricultural landscapes — resulting in millions of dollars for control efforts each year.
“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. “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.”
For more information about AIS, visit www.michigan.gov/AquaticInvasives.