It’s the 3rd Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) in New York. Groups statewide have sponsored activities July 10 – 16. We invite you to join in and learn how to protect your favorite natural areas.
What’s at stake? Some of the greatest harm both to our environment and agriculture is caused by invasive plants and animals — organisms that have been introduced to new areas, whether accidentally or intentionally, then spread uncontrollably.
Last year, PRISM organized more than 100 invasive species activities were held statewide. This year, the regional New York PRISMs (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) are poised and ready with a lineup of even more great activities and events to mark the occasion. Invasive Species Awareness Week offers many opportunities to learn more about invasives — including how prevent and manage their spread.
What makes a species invasive? Most reproduce in high numbers, lack predators and are highly adapted to their new environment. They can be costly, affect your health or vastly change ecosystems. Examples? Emerald ash borer, giant hogweed, and Japanese stiltgrass — to name but a few.
Invasive species are often spread unknowingly. A gardeners’ plant swap, dumping a bait bucket, moving firewood to a campsite miles away — it can be as simple as that.
You can help manage and control invasive species; in fact, people like you are often the first line of defense in reporting new infestations. How? By:
- keeping a sharp eye out for unwanted hitchhikers in the plant and animal kingdoms
- learning about which invasive species are of local concern by visiting your local PRISM website
- reporting sightings to www.nyimapinvasives.org
Stop the invasion. Protect New York from invasive species: that’s our state’s slogan. The line-up of events across New York includes an array of activities such as removing invasive species, screenings of “The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid” documentary, and invasive species workshops. The full schedule of events is online at http://www.nyis.info/blog/events/. Events are free, but preregistration for some events may be requested.