Great Lakes aquatic invasive species are the focus of the third annual “Landing Blitz”
Ann Arbor, Mich. – Hundreds of organizations across the Great Lakes region will be coming together to educate boaters and the public about the risks of spreading aquatic invasive species (AIS) during the third annual Great Lakes AIS Landing Blitz, to be held June 26 to July 4. The event is coordinated annually among state and provincial agencies with the support of the Great Lakes Commission and partner organizations.
As part of the Landing Blitz, volunteers will join paid inspectors at boat launches to educate boaters on how to prevent the spread of AIS, ways to identify AIS, and how to report an AIS discovery. Properly inspecting and cleaning boats, trailers and other equipment helps prevent the spread of AIS, which are recognized as one of the most significant threats to the ecological and economic health of the Great Lakes.
“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 and deputy general counsel for Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. “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.”
Last year’s Great Lakes AIS Landing Blitz reached 128,000 people at over 1,000 public and private boat landings across the region, and an additional 830,000 people engaged with online virtual content and social media about the event. This year, agencies leading the effort will host a hybrid event, continuing to reinstate in-person inspections and outreach in accordance with relevant COVID-19 public health procedures while maintaining an online presence.
“As recreation and tourism continues to open back up across the Great Lakes basin, we are excited to communicate directly with boaters at landing sites, while continuing to exercise appropriate safety procedures,” said James M. Tierney, Great Lakes Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner for Water Resources at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
For more information on the Great Lakes AIS Landing Blitz, including educational materials, location, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.glc.org/blitz.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair Sharon M. Jackson, Deputy General Counsel for Governor Eric J. Holcomb of Indiana, is a binational government agency established in 1955 to protect the Great Lakes and the economies and ecosystems they support. Its membership includes leaders from the eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes basin. The GLC recommends policies and practices to balance the use, development, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes and brings the region together to work on issues that no single community, state, province, or nation can tackle alone. Learn more at www.glc.org.