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Events for Invasive Species Awareness Week

The emerald ash borer is one of several tree-killing insects that spread with the aid of people moving firewood from one area to another. Its larvae have been killing ash trees in large numbers in other parts of New York and other states. (Provided photo — Benjamin Smith, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program and its partners are kicking off this year’s Invasive Species Awareness Week — June 6 to 12 — with a free “Love Your Lakes” workshop on Wednesday, June 9, at 7 p.m.

This online webinar will explore everything novice and experienced boaters need to know to prevent the spread of harmful invasive plants and animals when exploring North Country waters.

“With so many new and returning visitors to our Adirondack waterways, this workshop is a great way to ‘dive’ into summer and learn how protect our lakes and rivers,” APIPP Manager Tammara Van Ryn said.

The Adirondack region’s five main watersheds host more than 11,000 lakes and ponds and over 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.

“The Adirondacks are unique,” Van Ryn said. “Unlike many other regions of New York, here 75% of the waterways we have surveyed remain free of aquatic invasive species.”

But, that does not mean boaters, anglers and others can be complacent. All it takes is a few plant stems or tiny mollusks to start an infestation. For this reason, APIPP supports legislative efforts to permanently authorize a state law requiring boaters to take reasonable precautions to clean, drain and dry their boats to prevent the spread of invasive species.

“It is so important for all boaters, whether operating canoes or kayaks or motorboats, to practice Clean, Drain, Dry,” Northern Forest Canoe Trail Executive Director Karrie Thomas said.

Registration for the event can be found at https://adkinvasives.com/Events/.

New Outreach Campaign

APIPP is also launching a new outreach campaign to help prevent the spread of aquatic and land-based invasive species. New, colorful and informative posters and brochures are available for free to Adirondack nonprofits and businesses that can help get the word out.

“Ensuring travelers and residents have the information they need to safely and responsibly recreate in the Adirondacks is a top priority for us,” Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Communications Coordinator Janelle Hoh said. “As the summer season kicks off, we are excited to assist APIPP with the distribution of these important materials.”

Adirondack-specific posters and “rack cards” with the “Don’t Move Firewood” message are also available. Last summer the first infestation of the highly damaging emerald ash borer was found in the Adirondacks. Moving firewood is one of the main pathways the emerald ash borer can spread to new locations. Buying firewood near to where you burn it, or buying heat-treated firewood, is the best way to help prevent the spread of this devastating forest pest.

State events

The state Departments of Environmental Conservation and Agriculture and Markets are preparing for the state’s eighth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week, which began on Sunday.

There are webinars, guided hikes and volunteer events to remove invasive species planned throughout the week. A complete list of events can be found on the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week Events webpage.

Free public events and invasive species challenges are offered from June 6 to 12 across the state and online, including daily webinars at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a proclamation designating ISAW to support the annual campaign to encourage New Yorkers to learn more and participate in the fight against the negative impacts of invasive species.

“Each year, Invasive Species Awareness Week provides an excellent opportunity for New Yorkers to learn about invasive species and how they can get involved to help protect our forests, grasslands, lakes, rivers, wetlands, and other natural areas from the negative impacts of invasive pests,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Anyone can be part of the solution and help to reduce the spread of invasive pests by making simple changes to everyday activities.”

“Invasive species like the spotted lanternfly pose a great risk to some of New York’s leading crops, like apples and grapes, in addition to our horticulture and forest industries,” state Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said. “Learning how to identify and report this pest and others will help us in limiting their spread and managing their negative impacts.”

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