FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Madison—Thousands of Wisconsinites will take to the water this Fourth-of-July for the state’s busiest boating holiday of the year. During the tenth annual Landing Blitz, July 3-7th, 2019, many boaters will be greeted at landings and access points by Glacierland RC&D and Wisconsin DNR staff, as well as volunteers sharing a simple, but powerful message: YOU can protect lakes, rivers, and streams from aquatic invasive species.
The Landing Blitz is a statewide effort to remind boaters and users of all other watercraft that they can take actions to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, which pose great risks to the health or our lakes and fisheries.
“The Landing Blitz has become a foundation of our prevention efforts, since the fourth-of-july draws a multitude of frequent and infrequent boaters as well as many visitors from other states, allowing us to educate a large number of individuals” says Samantha Lammers, Invasive Species Coordinator for Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties through Glacierland Resource, Conservation, and Development.
Volunteers, AIS partners and DNR boat inspectors will be active on the landings around the state to demonstrate the prevention steps and answer questions about invasive species. Their efforts will build on the success of last year’s campaign, when volunteers inspected 14,000 boats and spoke with over 32,000 people.
“It is exciting to see such a strong volunteer effort for this campaign. Hundreds of concerned citizens volunteer to help us raise awareness and empower boaters to take the appropriate steps in preventing the spread of AIS in WI.” says Lammers.
For those who use social media, you can help spread the word about the importance of aquatic invasive species prevention by posting photos and messages using #CleanBoatsCleanWaters.
Invasive plants and animals, like eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, and spiny water flea, can spread easily by hitching a ride on boats and other equipment, including trailers, livewells, buckets and bilges. Many invasives can also be hidden in mud, so it is vital to clean off anchors as well.
Boaters can easily prevent the spread of AIS by taking the following simple steps before they leave a boat landing:
- INSPECT boats, trailers, and equipment for all attached aquatic plants and animals
- REMOVE all attached aquatic plants and animals
- DRAIN all water from boats, motors, livewells, and other equipment
- NEVER MOVE live fish away from a waterbody
- DISPOSE of unwanted bait in the trash
- BUY minnows from a licensed WI bait dealer
Following these steps also help boaters comply with Wisconsin state law which prohibits the transport of aquatic invasive species.
Glacierland RC&D is a nonprofit, grass-roots organization that is committed to wise use and conservation of our natural resources and human resources. We promote sustainability on all levels – environmental, social and economic – by bringing together agencies, organizations and people to work on projects addressing issues of sustainability in Wisconsin. For more information about Glacierland, visit our website at: www.glacierlandrcd.org
To learn more about invasive species and their impacts to Wisconsin’s water and economy, visit DNR.wi.gov and search “invasive species”