Raising awareness of invasive species in Iowa

With more than 2,300 lakes and ponds, 1,500 miles of rivers, and 30,000 miles of brooks and streams, the Adirondack region is particularly vulnerable to the introduction of AIS. Once established, AIS such as zebra mussels can spread rapidly through connecting waterways or by "hitchhiking" on the propellers, trailers, rudders, and motors of recreational boaters' and anglers' vessels.

In an effort to increase awareness of invasive species and the impact they have on Iowa’s ecosystems and economy, Governor Branstad recently proclaimed April as Invasive Species Awareness Month in Iowa.

Each year, Iowa spends millions of dollars on the control of invasive plants, insects, animal species and diseases in woodlands, wetlands, waterbodies and urban areas around the state.

“We need to be vigilant in preventing further introduction of unwanted insect, plant and animal species into our neighborhoods and ecosystems, and knowledge is the first step in this effort,” said Chuck Gipp, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The April proclamation is particularly timely as outdoor enthusiasts head out to boat, fish and camp.

Iowa’s aquatic invasive species law is aimed at preventing recreationists from transporting invasive fish, plants and other aquatic life. Details on how to prevent aquatic nuisance species can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/About-Fishing-in-Iowa/Fighting-Invasive-Species

And campers are reminded to only use local firewood when travelling away from home to help slow the natural spread of emerald ash borer (EAB). EAB is easily transported to new areas when people inadvertently move EAB larvae inside of infested firewood.

Invasive Species Awareness Month provides an opportunity for the public and private sectors to join forces, and take action against the introduction and spread of invasive species in the Iowa.

More information on invasive species can be found on the DNR website, www.iowadnr.gov, by searching EAB, invasive plants, invasive fish, aquatic invasive invertebrates or aquatic invasive plants.

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