New Ally in the Michigan Fight Against Invasive Species

JACKSON, Mich. - In March of this year, the Jackson, Lenawee and Washtenaw tri-county region saw the establishment of the Jackson-Lenawee-Washtenaw Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (JLW CISMA).

According to the Department of Natural Resources, invasive species are those that are not native and whose introduction causes harm, or are likely to cause harm, to Michigan’s economy, environment or human health. Invasive species arrive due to intentional or accidental introductions and can include a variety of plants, animals and insects.

Invasive species can attach to equipment such as boats, fishing gear, clothing, and pets and spread to new regions if not removed. Some plant species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and Japanese knotweed can start infestations from a single fragment of a plant. These species can out-compete native species for habitat and can be very expensive to treat once established.

Education, observation and inspection can help prevent the accidental spread of invasive species. You can help by:

· Inspecting your gear, shoes and clothing and removing any seeds, plant matter and small organisms

· Cleaning any burrs or seeds from your pet’s fur after walks

· Returning unwanted aquarium fish or plants to a pet store instead of releasing them into rivers or streams

· Discarding unused live bait into the trash and not into waterbodies

· Buying firewood where you will be burning it

· Planting native species in your garden

The JLW CISMA wants to prevent, detect, eradicate and control invasive species in its 3-county region, create a strategic plan for reducing the threat of invasive species and provide outreach and educational opportunities for local citizens and stakeholder groups. The JLW CISMA would also like to coordinate and support partner efforts to survey and respond to new detections of priority invasive species. If you see any invasive species, take a picture if possible and make note of where you are. Report the invasive to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (www.misin.msu.edu).

To stay informed of our activities, please follow us on twitter or Instagram (both @JLW_CISMA) or like us on facebook (@JLWCISMA). If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the JLW CISMA coordinator, Dr. Shikha Singh, at (517) 395 - 2089 or via email at shikha.singh@macd.org.

Source: PRESS RELEASE