LANSING, Mich. — Michigan residents are encouraged to observe Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week on July 3-9 under a resolution co-sponsored by Sen. John Proos and adopted by the state Senate.
“Aquatic invasive species, such as Asian carp, pose a real threat to the health of the Great Lakes and the livelihoods of thousands of Michigan families,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The most important step in protecting our waters is to engage the public about these invasive species and their potential to devastate our natural resources and economy. As families head outdoors to enjoy a summer day boating or fishing, this awareness week is a time to remind everyone of the critical role they can play in the fight against aquatic invasive species.”
Senate Resolution 184 encourages residents to increase their understanding and awareness of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and their ecological and economic impacts, and to take preventative measures to help stop the spread and introduction of the species in Michigan.
SR 184 states that more than 180 nonindigenous AIS have been introduced to the Great Lakes, many of which are displacing native species; disrupting habitats; and degrading natural, managed and agricultural landscapes.
“The people are our first line of defense in preventing the accidental spreading of invasive species,” Proos said. “During this week, and throughout the summer, I encourage boaters and anglers to take a few proactive steps to avoid accidentally spreading invasive species, such as washing boats and trailers before leaving access areas and drying boats and equipment for at least five days before launching them into a different body of water.
The resolution builds on Proos’ effort to stop Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.
“While we are spending millions of dollars each year to control invasive species already here, an invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes would forever change the way of life along Lake Michigan — and Southwest Michigan would be one of the first areas affected,” Proos said. “The impact of Asian carp getting into the Great Lakes would be catastrophic.”
For more information about AIS, visit www.michigan.gov/Invasives.
Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/audio.