Boating, fishing outreach events to mark Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week

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News Release

The following news release was issued earlier today by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. 

June 28, 2024
EGLE Media Office,, 517-284-9278
Kevin Walters, Aquatic Biologist,, 616-250-8637

Boating, fishing outreach events to mark Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week June 30 – July 6

Over 50 boat landing events are planned across the state to mark this year’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Awareness Week, June 30 to July 6. Public awareness about the impacts of harmful, nonnative aquatic plants and animals is critical to protecting Michigan’s ecosystems, tourism, and economy.

At a landing blitz, two men standing near the motor of a trailered small boat in a parking lot. A woman and a child are standing behind the boat.

The boat landing events are part of the 11th Annual AIS Landing Blitz in which local partners such as lake associations and cooperative invasive species management areas (CISMA) give boaters tips to prevent the spread of AIS and comply with laws for recreational boating. The regional Landing Blitz web site allows you to search for an event near you. Similar AIS Landing Blitz events will be held in each of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a proclamation to mark AIS Awareness Week raising awareness about this important issue to stop the spread of invasive aquatic plants and organisms.

What you can do

All boaters and anglers can help prevent the spread of AIS by following some simple steps.
Required actions – it’s the law in Michigan:

  • Remove all aquatic organisms, including plants, from watercraft and trailers before launching or transporting.
  • Remove all drain plugs and drain all water from bilges, ballast tanks, and live wells before transporting a watercraft.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash, not in the water.

Recommended additional actions to protect our waters:

  • 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).
An illustration of a boat on a trailer with labels indicating areas to look for and remove aquatic plants and debris.

An EGLE NotMISpecies webinar titled, “Clean it Up, Drain it Out, Dry it Off: Boating Hygiene for the 21st Century,” (recorded earlier) shows how easy it is to clean, drain, and dry boats and trailers to help prevent the introduction and spread of AIS.

“Partners around the state are reminding boaters and anglers about the simple steps they can take to prevent the spread of AIS,” said Kevin Walters, Aquatic Biologist, Water Resources Division, EGLE. “If we all clean, drain, and dry our boats, trailers, and gear, we can reduce the likelihood of inadvertently moving AIS when we recreate.”

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 EGLE's Water Resources Division, in partnership with the departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development, 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

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

Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows. 

Landing blitz: Volunteers at an AIS landing blitz in Manistee show owners where to check for and remove aquatic plants and debris from a boat and trailer.

Zebra zapper: After trailering a boat, check these locations for aquatic plants and debris, and drain all bilges and live wells before leaving the launch area.


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