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For Release: Thursday, June 24, 2021

DEC Joins Great Lakes States and Canadian Provinces to Announce Third Annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz

Regional Effort Raises Awareness to Prevent Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), partnering with seven Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces, today announced the third annual Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Landing Blitz, a regional campaign to inform boaters and others about the risks of introducing and spreading AIS. During this coordinated outreach effort, partners throughout the Great Lakes region will educate the public at hundreds of water access sites from June 26 to July 4.

"New York State is working strategically to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species through initiatives like DEC's Boat Steward Program, statewide PRISM partnerships, and outreach and awareness events like the Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Public engagement is an essential tool to protect New York's waters from invasive pests and it's imperative that we continue to connect people with the information they need so we are all doing our part to stop the spread."

"More than 185 nonnative species are already established in the Great Lakes, many of which are invasive and cause harm," said Sharon M. Jackson, Chair of the Great Lakes Commission. "Progress is being made, but we must continue to work together through successful partnerships like the AIS Landing Blitz to prevent new invasions and reduce the damage from species already here."

During last year's AIS Landing Blitz, partners connected with 128,000 people at more than 1,000 public and private boat landings across the Great Lakes region. An additional 830,000 people were reached through virtual content and social media postings. DEC's boat stewards alone have already performed more than 45,000 inspections and intercepted more than 2,500 AIS this season at boat launches throughout the state. Ongoing efforts like these are bolstered during the Landing Blitz with outreach vehicles including a Facebook Live video and a social media campaign with the hashtags #GreatLakesAISLandingBlitz, #ProtectNYWaters, and #CleanDrainDry.

For more information on the Great Lakes AIS Landing Blitz, including educational materials, location information, and volunteer opportunities, visit the Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz website (leaves DEC's website).

To help protect New York's lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, visit DEC's website for more information on AIS and a step-by-step guide for ridding boats and equipment of AIS. DEC also recently released a newly developed public service announcement (PSA) to air across the state reminding boaters to clean, drain, and dry their watercraft in order to protect state waters. The PSA is now available on DEC's YouTube page.

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