Mt. Clemens, MI - Experts plan to discuss the introduction of invasive species, identification and preventing spread at this year's Spring Invasive Species Summit on Saturday, March 19.
The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is virtual, free and open to the public. This is the fourth summit organized by the Oakland County CISMA (Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area), and the second year of the event's expansion to include experts from six neighboring CISMAs in southeastern Michigan, including the Lake St. Clair CISMA.
"Once we know how invasive species get here, an important next step is to minimize and prevent their spread," said McKenzi Waliczek, coordinator of the Lake St Clair CISMA. “People often don’t think about what happens to unwanted pets and plants that are released or escape into the wild. It’s important for people to know that these species can become invasive and harm our native species.”
Attendees will also learn how to report invasive species.
“Knowing where these species are is a really important first step," said Matthew Lindauer, coordinator of the Central Michigan CISMA. "When people report a species, it gives us information like how much there is and how widespread it is. This information is essential in making management decisions about these invasive species moving forward.”
"Attending seminars like this empowers people to take action when they identify an invasive species, and take action in a systematic and more effective manner," said Shikha Singh, coordinator of the JLW CISMA. "Community members and those who work in right-of-ways and natural areas are quite often the first to report new invasive species."
Additionally, participants will learn about avoiding invasive ornamental plants and what species you should plant for a healthy, native environment.
"Native plants are those that have naturally occurred within a certain region for hundreds of years, prior to extensive human intervention," said Melissa Kivel, of Friends of the St. Clair River. "They provide specific nectar, pollen and food sources for local wildlife, including the pollinators that ensure we have successful crops and other beneficial insects that keep pest populations under control. By planting native plants rather than invasive ornamentals, individuals are supporting the butterflies, birds and bees that depend on them for survival.”
Registration for this event is required, and free. Interested attendees can sign up here.
MDARD Certified Applicator recertification credits and Southeast Michigan Master Gardener continuing education credits are available for this event. Find the full schedule and more information at: https://oaklandinvasivespecies.org/summit/. For more local CISMA events, visit https://www.lakestclaircisma.com/.
Supporting images, which showcase various CISMAs in action, are available here.
About the Lake St. Clair CISMA
The Lake St. Clair Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (LSC CISMA) is a partnership of local and state governments, non-profits, and property owners founded in 2015. United in their goal to prevent, detect, and control priority invasive species, the CISMA operates within the vast boundaries of the Lake St Clair Watershed covering 2,100 square miles. The LSC CISMA is funded by the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (www.michigan.gov/invasives).
About Macomb County Planning and Economic Development
The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development supports an environment where businesses prosper and people thrive. Its activities and programs are focused on stimulating the local economy through business retention, expansion and attraction while improving the overall quality of life for residents. The department specializes in providing services to businesses at all stages of development with a concentration on the high-growth industries of aerospace, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, defense and homeland security. For more information, call 586-469-5285 or visit: https://ped.macombgov.org/Ped-Home.