In the early 2000s, there was a call from several scientific, environmental and economic sectors calling for controls, standards and management frameworks for reducing the risks and damage of aquatic invasive species in Michigan. Over 182 non-indigenous aquatic species were introduced and colonized within the Great Lakes region since the 1800s. This includes algae, plants, insects, fish and viruses. Not all of these species are invasive, but that ones that are have certainly given those working to prevent or control them plenty of action. Recently, these species include Zebra mussels, Eurasian Water milfoil, Phragmites, Carp species, cray fish and some fish viruses, to name a few.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are particularly troublesome since they not only affect our natural environment, but also the economy. Property values, tourism, fishing industry and other businesses have fallen victim to the introduction of AIS. Michigan, and indeed the nation, has taken action to prevent the introduction of new AIS through regulatory and voluntary efforts. Click on the following paragraph to access the full story.
The success of controlling aquatic invasive species is the result of a combination of agreements in the public and private sectors, and the work of a body of regulatory and voluntary efforts. One way you can help in the fight against AIS and help to stop aquatic hitchhikers is to become a Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters Hero by going to www.MICBCW.org and click on “Join the Fight.”