ALBANY — The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (AGM) today announced that the state’s eighth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) begins this Sunday, June 6. Free public events and invasive species challenges are offered from June 6 – 12 across the state and online, including daily webinars at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation designating ISAW to support the annual campaign to encourage New Yorkers to learn more and participate in the fight against the negative impacts of invasive species.
“Each year, Invasive Species Awareness Week provides an excellent opportunity for New Yorkers to learn about invasive species and how they can get involved to help protect our forests, grasslands, lakes, rivers, wetlands, and other natural areas from the negative impacts of invasive pests,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Anyone can be part of the solution and help to reduce the spread of invasive pests by making simple changes to everyday activities.”
“Invasive species like the spotted lanternfly pose a great risk to some of New York’s leading crops, like apples and grapes, in addition to our horticulture and forest industries,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “Learning how to identify and report this pest and others will help us in limiting their spread and managing their negative impacts. I encourage everyone to get involved this Invasive Species Awareness Week and help to protect New York’s precious natural resources.”
Invasive species are plants, animals, insects, and pathogens that are not native to an area and cause harm to the environment, agriculture, economy, or public health. New York is particularly vulnerable to these pests due to its role as a center for international trade and travel.
Scheduled events include:
- Statewide webinars about reporting invasive species, community engagement, and simple steps everyone can take to prevent the spread of invasive species;
- Guided hikes and floating classrooms to learn how to identify different invasive species;
- Webinars demonstrating how to landscape with native species; and
- Volunteer events to take part in invasive species removals.
Anyone interested in participating in an ISAW event, including the daily webinars, is encouraged to visit the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week Events webpage to find a complete list of offerings in their area. The Sunday, June 6, webinar will highlight the events scheduled for ISAW 2021 and discuss New York’s collaborative invasive species network that includes Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management, or PRISMs.
Everyone can make a difference in the fight against invasives by helping to locate and map infestations, using only local firewood, properly cleaning watercraft before and after boating, cleaning dirt off boots after hiking, or removing invasive species from the yard. To learn more about invasive species and how to get involved, visit DEC’s website.
–NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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