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For Release: Monday, April 1, 2019

DEC and Agriculture and Markets Announce Sixth Annual Invasive Species Awareness Week July 7-13

State Agencies Encourage Partners to Begin Planning Events

The State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets today announced that New York State's sixth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be held July 7-13. Initiated in 2014, 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. Planning is already underway, and this year's theme is "Early Detection: Explore, Observe, Report."

"Thanks to the planning efforts of the eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management and their partners and the support from DEC's Invasive Species Coordination Section, more than 170 events were held statewide in 2018, making it the most successful Invasive Species Awareness Week campaign to date," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "DEC encourages our partners to keep the momentum going this year by providing more opportunities for New Yorkers to learn about invasive species and get involved in their local communities."

"Invasive species can cause serious damage to our farms and crops," said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. "Public education, awareness and vigilance are key components to preventing the establishment and spread of invasive species in New York State. These events help inform the public and encourage people to watch for, and report, these pests."

The "Early Detection" theme is meant to shine a spotlight on the importance of detecting infestations of invasive species early, which increases the success of response efforts. Spotted lanternfly, oak wilt and hydrilla are just a few of the emerging invasives that could or are beginning to have significant impacts in New York. The theme will also help to highlight the soon to be released iMapInvasives 3.0, a revamped version of the New York invasive species database that will have a more user-friendly, mobile-responsive map display.

Organizations interested in hosting an event should visit the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week website (leaves DEC website) for more information. All types of programming and events are encouraged, including removal projects, science trainings, film screenings, and more. Some examples of past events include:

  • A guided hike to survey for hemlock woolly adelgid;
  • Water chestnut removals at DEC-owned boat launches;
  • Tabling at a local farmers' market with invasive species information;
  • Invasive species educational programs geared towards children.

Any interested partners should provide their local PRISM coordinator with information about their events by Monday, June 24 to ensure they can be added to the statewide list. To learn more about ISAW, visit the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week website (leaves DEC website). To learn more about iMapInvasives and to sign up for a training near you, visit the New York iMapInvasives website (leaves DEC website).

Press Contacts

NY Invasive Species Council, Co-Chairs:

  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Press Office, Lori Severino,, (518) 402-8000
  • NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Press Office, Jola Szubielski,, (518) 457-0752

NY Invasive Species Advisory Committee, Chair:

  • Renee St. Jacques, New York Farm Bureau, Assistant Director of Public Policy,, (518) 436-8495

2019 ISAW Planning Committee Chair:

  • Emma Antolos, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation,, (518) 402-9432

Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) Staff:

  • Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, Brendan Quirion,, (518) 576-2082
  • Capital Mohawk, Kristopher Williams,, (518) 885-8995
  • Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership, John Thompson,, (845) 586-2611
  • Finger Lakes, Hilary Mosher,, (315) 781-4385
  • Long Island Invasive Species Management Area, Luke Gervase,, (631) 525-1125
  • Lower Hudson, Linda Rohleder,, (201) 512-9348 ex. 821
  • St. Lawrence and Eastern Lake Ontario, Megan Pistolese,, (315) 387-3600 Ext. 7724
  • Western New York, Emily Thiel,, (716) 878-4708
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