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Invasive Species Awareness Week

Invasive Species Awareness Week is July 8-14, 2018. To find an event near you, please visit the ISAW calendar (leaves DEC website)!

Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is an annual educational campaign coordinated by the Invasive Species Council, the Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the eight PRISMs (Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management), and their partner organizations. Initiated in 2014, the week-long campaign features numerous statewide events focused on invasive species, ranging from invasive species removal projects, guided hikes and paddling events, presentations by subject matter experts, informational webinars, citizen science trainings, film screenings, and more. Visit the ISAW events page (leave DEC website) to learn more about how you can become involved.

ISAW 2018

The fifth annual ISAW campaign will be held July 8-14, 2018. This year, the ISAW theme is "What YOU can do to stop the spread!" We will focus on positive actions people can take to prevent the spread of invasive species. Interested in attending an event? Check out the ISAW calendar (leaves DEC website) for more information!

an ISAW event attendee learns to identify aquatic invasive plants
A Five Rivers Environmental Education Center volunteer learns to
identify aquatic invasive plants during an iMap Invasives workshop.

ISAW 2017

The fourth annual ISAW campaign was held July 9-15, 2017 with the theme "Invasive Species Reality Check: Where Are We & Where Do We Need To Go." Please visit the ISAW homepage (leaves DEC website) to access the statewide events calendar, find resources for event organizers, and learn more about this year's campaign. There were a number of great events that took place throughout the week, including invasive species walks and paddling events, PBS broadcasts of aquatic invasive species documentary entitled "Making Waves: Battle for the Great Lakes," iMap Invasives trainings, displays and exhibits, the second annual Water Chestnut Chasers Challenge, and more.

August 2017 Update: Thank you to everyone who hosted or attended an ISAW event in your community. It was a record year with 150+ events in 50 counties across New York. A presentation detailing the campaign's results and recommendations for next year (PDF, 3.13 MB) is now available. Be sure to sign up for your PRISM's e-mail listserve (leave DEC website) to learn about partner meetings and other ways to stay active on invasive species activities and news.

ISAW 2016

New York celebrated its third annual ISAW July 10-16, 2016. Partner organizations across the state implemented events to engage the public in preventing the spread of invasive species. The 2016 themes included promoting alternatives to invasive species for gardening and aquaculture, and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species via recreational boating. DEC and its partners worked to promote knowledge of and compliance with the aforementioned regulations (Parts 575 and 576).

If you or your organization has interest in planning an ISAW event in the future, contact your local PRISM coordinator in March or April to get started. He or she will help you to post your event on the statewide calendar and ensure that you have the resources you need to host a successful event.

Download the PRISM fact sheet (PDF, 200 KB), which contains coordinator contact information for the 8 PRISM regions in the state.

If you missed the presentation of the ISAW 2016 results and recommendations on the September Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management webinar (link leaves DEC's website), the recording is now available on the NY Invasives YouTube channel. (link leaves DEC's website)

Staff lined up for a photo at the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Film Screening
Screening of "The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: A Film About the Loss
of an Ecosystem" during ISAW in Albany, NY. Photo: Robin Kuiper.

What You Can Do

Invasive species affect all New Yorkers. No matter who you are or what types of activities you engage in, you can take some simple measures to prevent the spread of invasive species across our lands and waterways.

If you are an angler or boater:

  • Be sure to clean all plant material and mud from your watercraft and gear before leaving the boat launch and dispose of them in an aquatic invasive species disposal station if one is available.
  • Drain all water holding compartments, including the livewell, bilge, and bait buckets before traveling to a new body of water.
  • Never dump unused bait!

If you are an aquarium owner or water gardener:

If you are a gardener or landscaper:

Participants learn to identify invasive plants with the weed wagon on Long Island
The Long Island Invasive Species Management Area's weed wagon
helps people learn to identify invasive plants. Photo: Steve Young
  • Verify that the plants you are purchasing for your garden or property are not invasive - regulated invasive plants must be tagged!
  • Educate friends and neighbors about the importance of gardening/landscaping with native plants.

If you are a hiker, hunter or camper:

  • Don't move firewood, and be aware of firewood regulations in your area. Moving firewood can contribute to the spread of forest pests.
  • Clean your boots and clothing at the trailhead before heading home. Seeds from invasive trailside plants often stick to clothing and get stuck in boot treads.

Getting involved with an ISAW event or your local PRISM is another way to educate yourself about the impacts of invasive species, and learn how you can control them if they occur on your land or in the places that you recreate.

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