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Invasive Species Education & Outreach Initiatives

The introduction, spread, and management of invasive species is heavily influenced by the actions of citizens who live, work, and recreate on public and private lands and waterways of New York. Education and outreach about invasive species increase awareness and knowledge, which are necessary precursors to behavior changes that could reduce risks throughout the State.

Looking for a way to get involved? There are many opportunities to help spread the word and not the species-check out some ways to participate below.

Integrate Invasive Species Lessons into Your Classroom

Changing behaviors is often easiest when you start at an early age. By helping students gain a basic understanding of invasive species, their impacts, and how they spread, we can help them become good stewards of the environment. Check out DEC's K-12 Educator Resources webpage here. This page includes DEC's new two-week invasive species curriculum for middle school students as well as other useful resources such as lesson plans, guides and much more.

Participate in Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW)

A group of volunteers holding an Invasive Species Awareness Week banner
A water chestnut pull during Invasive Species
Awareness Week. Credit: Megan Pistolese, SLELO

Stay tuned for the dates of the 2022 ISAW. ISAW is an annual educational campaign coordinated by the Invasive Species Council, the Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the eight PRISMs and their partners. Initiated in 2014, the week-long campaign features numerous statewide events focused on invasive species, ranging from paddling events, presentations, informational webinars, citizen science trainings, film screenings, and more. Find more information on ISAW and events near you here (leaves DEC website).

Get Involved in Your Community: Volunteer with Your Local PRISM!

A great way to get involved is volunteering with your local Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM). PRISMs coordinate invasive species management functions including recruiting and training citizen volunteers, identifying and delivering education and outreach, establishing early detection and monitoring networks and much more! There are 8 PRISMs located throughout New York State: find your local PRISM.

2016-2021 Education & Outreach Strategic Plan

The NYS Invasive Species Education and Outreach Strategic Plan Summary (PDF) was developed by Invasive Species Council and Advisory Committee representatives to guide education and outreach efforts undertaken by statewide partners from 2016-2021. The overarching goal of the five-year plan is to expand New York residents' awareness of invasive species issues and willingness to adopt simple behaviors that prevent their spread.