BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — New York State’s sixth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be celebrated July 7-13. ISAW is an educational campaign featuring statewide events that encourage New Yorkers to help protect the state’s resources from the negative impacts of invasive species. This year’s theme is “Early Detection: Explore, Observe, Report” which highlights the importance of detecting infestations of invasive species early, thereby increasing the success of response efforts.
Capital Mohawk PRISM is proud to host many interactive events throughout the Capital/ Mohawk Region. The full schedule of events is online at http://www.capitalmohawkprism.org/. To view events happening across the state, visit https://stoptheinvasionny.com/events/.
Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, insects, or diseases that can cause harm to the environment, the economy, or human health. They cause or contribute to degradation and loss of habitat, loss of native fish, wildlife, and plant species, loss of recreational opportunities and associated income, damage to crops and nursery stock, health issues in humans and livestock and risks to public safety. Invaders can be introduced intentionally (like when non-native plants are sold at nurseries and escape from gardens) or unintentionally (like when insects hitch rides in wooden crates). Since New York State is a hub for international trade and travel, our state has one of the highest rates of non-native introductions and invasive species are a constant threat to our resources.
Combatting invasive species may seem like a daunting task, but it’s easy for New Yorkers to make small changes to their daily routine. Hikers can remove seeds from clothing, boots and equipment before and after heading out on a trail. Gardeners can take care to use native plants when gardening and landscaping and inspect the contents of seed packets for invasive plants. Boaters can clean plant material and mud from their watercraft and gear before and after leaving a boat launch. Campers can buy local firewood to prevent the spread of forest pests and diseases. The public can also utilize iMapInvasives, New York’s invasive species database, to help report invasive species populations.
New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is coordinated by the New York Invasive Species Advisory Committee, New York Invasive Species Council and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management. Capital Mohawk PRISM is one of eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) in the state. For further information about Capital Mohawk PRISM, visit http://www.capitalmohawkprism.org/ or call Kris Williams at 518-885-8995.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Saratoga County
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