Mt. Clemens, MI - National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is an international effort to raise awareness of the threats posed by invasive species that is being held February 20-28, 2021. Free webinars from a variety of agencies are being held during NISAW to provide education about invasive species prevention and management.
The Lake St. Clair Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (LSC CISMA), in conjunction with six additional Southeast Michigan CISMAs, will be holding a free, virtual Invasive Species Summit on March 20, 2021 from 10 a.m. -12:30 p.m. The summit is open to the public but registration is required at www.sixriversrlc.org/lsc-cisma.
“The summit will provide information on the identification, control, and reporting of established and newly emerging invasive species in our region," said McKenzi Waliczek, coordinator of the LSC CISMA. "Presentations will be interactive, with opportunities to have your questions answered by experts.”
Additional webinars include:
- NISAW webinars are daily, February 22-26 at 2 p.m. The schedule of topics can be found at www.nisaw.org/
- The U.S. Forest Service is hosting invasive species-focused webinars at 3:30 p.m., February 22-26. Additional information is available at www.fs.fed.us/research/sciencex-webinars/
- Michigan State University Extension is offering a free Gypsy Moth webinar on February 23 at 1 p.m. Registration is required at events.anr.msu.edu/gypsymoth2021/
An invasive species is a non-native plant, pest, or disease that causes ecological, economic, or human harm in its new environment. It is important to prevent, detect, and control invasive species because, if left unchecked, they can rapidly damage the environment. It is estimated that aquatic invasive species cause $5.7 billion of damage in the Great Lakes region every year.
The Lake St. Clair CISMA is a partnership of local and state governments, non-profits, and educational institutions founded in 2015. United in their goal to prevent, detect, and control priority invasive species, the LSC CISMA operates within the vast boundaries of the Lake St Clair Watershed covering 2,100 square miles. Sheri Faust, President of Friends of the St. Clair River said, “As a Lake St. Clair CISMA partner, we are committed to carrying out awareness of invasive species issues throughout the St. Clair River watershed. Our staff and volunteers are in the field every week taking action to prevent their spread into high-quality habitats and green spaces.” The LSC CISMA is funded by the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (www.michigan.gov/invasives).
Six Rivers Land Conservancy is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit located in Oakland Township whose mission is to conserve, sustain, and connect natural areas, lands, and waters that make the places we live special. Six Rivers has currently protected over 2,000 acres in Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Lapeer, and Genesee Counties and acts as the fiduciary for both the Lake St. Clair CISMA and Oakland County CISMA. “Managing invasive species throughout Southeast Michigan is critical for the region’s environmental and economic health,” said Amy O’ Leary, President of the Six Rivers Land Conservancy; O’Leary also serves as Executive Director of SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. “SEMCOG’s work with the Lake St. Clair CISMA on mapping invasive species helps us track, manage, and prevent new invasive species.” If you'd like more information about Six Rivers work, volunteer opportunities, or to make a donation, please visit (https://www.sixriversrlc.org).