LANSING, Mich. — Michigan residents are encouraged to observe Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week on July 3-9 under a resolution sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn and adopted by the state Senate.
“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, R-Ida. “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.”
Senate Resolution 184 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-chairman of the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee. “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.”
SR 184 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. “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.”
For more information about AIS, visit www.michigan.gov/Invasives.