This weekend wraps up the National Invasive Species Awareness Week for 2023. Here at AdventureKEEN we love North America’s lands and waters and want them to remain resilient to climate change and other biological challenges. It’s very clear, after reading books like Invaders of the Great Lakes, that little sticky seeds and tiny hitchhiking critters can easily upset nature’s balance. The state of New Jersey is even looking to revive its statewide council on battling invasive species. Fortunately with a little bit of awareness and a couple of new habits, we can all help cut back the spread of invasive species.
The term “invasive” is used for aggressive species that grow and reproduce rapidly, displace native species, and cause major disturbance to the areas in which they are present. Invasive species can cause irreversible harm to the environment and the economy and often pose a threat to plant, animal, and human health. The good news is that solutions start at home.
By taking some basic care, you can greatly reduce the risk of spreading invasive species to the places that you love.
Here are a few tips to help do this:
- Clean, drain, and dry all watercraft, trailers, and equipment when finished boating or fishing. Comply with watercraft inspection and decontamination requirements.
- Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles, and other gear between outings.
- Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways.
- Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
That last step is a big one, but a great way to plug into and support your local outdoor community. Be sure to check out our friends at the North American Invasive Species Management Association as well as the official National Invasive Species Awareness Week website for more ideas and to join the conversation.