Going on its 16th year, the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers campaign has weathered many storms and has seen a lot of changes. From a campaign perspective, the brand has evolved, a new website has been created and the Fish and Wildlife Service continues to add value to its national leadership role in working with partners big and small to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.
Currently, about 80 partners join the campaign every year and there are a total of 1284 organizations who have joined Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers, ranging from every state fish and wildlife agency to companies like Patagonia, Cabelas, AEP, Wake-WorX, LLC and Shimano. Additionally, there are other organizations like NH Lakes, Boy Scout Troop 290, the National Association of Underwater Instructors’ Green Diver Initiative, Long Island Flyrodders and the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association that have joined Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers. Besides these American-based partners, sovereign nations like the Gun Lake Tribe and the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians along with the countries of New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland have also joined the campaign and the burgeoning community of active environmental stewards.
In addition to these partners, other campaigns have been created to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Campaigns like the Clean, Drain, Dry Initiative and the Clean Angling Pledge complement Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers and add considerable value to urgency of adopting behaviors that prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Besides launching this social movement that is focused on promoting individual actions that people can take to be stewards of the environment, the campaign continues to serve as a critical source of invasive species news, touching almost 1400 people on a weekly basis. To highlight the news function, below is listing of the ten most popular postings during entire year of 2017 (in descending order) based on the number of people who clicked on each story.
- Major Milestone in Testing Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussel Treatment under Large-Scale Open Water Conditions (Aug. 3rd)
- The City Teenager vs. the Monstrous Snakehead (Nov. 16th)
- Corps of Engineers Consults Grateful Dead and Their Legendary Wall of Sound to Fight Asian Carp (Sic) (Aug 8th)
- Private Fish Farm on Michigan’s Famed Au Sable ‘Clearly Violates’ Law’ (Oct. 17th)
- The Invasive Species that Nobody is Talking About (Nov. 8th)
- Sucking Unwanted Fish Out of Minnesota’s Lakes and Rivers May Soon Be a Reality (Sept. 14th)
- Montana mussel invasion expected to cost millions (May 25th)
- Can invasive species ruin baseball? (June 1st)
- Montana FWP Director – Goals ‘accomplished’ in war against aquatic invasive species (Sept. 28th)
- Invasive or not? A Great Lakes puzzle driven by values (Aug. 24th)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to thank all of our partners who are part of this national prevention community – these partners include local, state and federal government agencies, sovereign tribal governments, outdoor brands and retailers, electric companies, zoos, local, regional and national conservation organizations, youth groups, universities and colleges. You are the people who make Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers work. Thanks for doing your part.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The SAH Email News Service will resume on January 4th, 2018.