AIS Awareness Week is June 30 - July 7

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June 27, 2019

Kevin Walters, Aquatic Biologist,, 616-250-8637

Boating and fishing outreach events to mark 2019 Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week

Michigan’s Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week will be proclaimed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer June 30 – July 7, 2019 and will feature education and outreach events. The House and Senate also adopted resolutions bringing awareness to this critical issue. State departments are observing the week at more than 79 boat launches statewide. Public awareness about the impacts of harmful, nonnative aquatic plants and animals is critical to protecting our state’s ecosystems, tourism and economy.

AIS Landing Blitz

Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week will be highlighted by the sixth annual AIS Landing Blitz, an event held at boat landings around the state. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is partnering with local volunteers, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to give boaters tips to prevent the spread of harmful species and comply with recently updated laws. This year, the AIS Landing Blitz has expanded to include events in each of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces.

With recent discoveries of invasive species such as red swamp crayfish in at least 20 bodies of water and parrot feather, an invasive aquatic plant, in four separate locations, the week takes on added importance. These are examples of invasive plants and animals that can outcompete native species and take over lakes and ponds.

Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by following these simple steps:

Required actions – it’s the law in Michigan:

  • Do not launch or transport watercraft or trailers unless they are free of aquatic organisms, including plants.
  • Do not transport a watercraft without removing all drain plugs and draining all water from bilges, ballast tanks and live wells.
  • Do not release unused bait into the water.

Recommended additional actions – protect our waters by following these steps:

  • Clean boats, trailers and equipment by removing plants, debris and mud before leaving the access area. Dispose of the material in a trash receptacle or otherwise away from the water body, if possible.
  • Wash boats and trailers before leaving the access area, if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.
  • Dry boats and equipment for five days before launching into a different water body.
  • Disinfect live wells and bilges with a bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons water.)

A short EGLE video from a past Landing Blitz shows how easy it is to clean, drain and dry boats and trailers.

“Everyone has a part to play in helping prevent the spread of invasive species,” said Kevin Walters, aquatic biologist with EGLE. “Education is key to protecting Michigan’s incredible natural resources.”

Events at boat launches are contingent on weather and volunteer availability. Contact Kevin Walters for a list of events.

AIS Awareness Week is sponsored by the EGLE Water Resources Division in partnership with other state and federal agencies and private and nonprofit organizations. For more information about AIS Awareness Week or the AIS Landing Blitz, visit Michigan’s invasive species web site at

To stay up to date on other EGLE news, follow us at

Michigan's Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.

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