Weed Science Society of America experts say a “slow the spread” approach is vital to the management of invasive and noxious weeds and other harmful pests, during National Invasive Species Awareness Week, May 16-23, and throughout the year.
“Slowing the spread of invasive and noxious weeds is something land and water managers have been dealing with for decades,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., WSSA executive director of science policy. “If each of us stays informed and commits to taking action, we can focus on prevention and can detect new infestations early to limit their impact.”
Here are 10 ways to take action:
- Learn about invasive weeds, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
- Clean your hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive weeds from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at www.playcleango.org.
- Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at www.habitattitude.net.
- Clean your fishing equipment and don’t dump live bait. Learn more at http://stopaquatichitchhikers.org.
- Don’t move firewood over long distances. Instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at www.dontmovefirewood.org.
- Buy forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified “weed free.” Learn more at www.naisma.org/programs/weed-free-standards.
- Report new or expanding invasive weed infestations to authorities at www.invasive.org/report.cfm.
- Ask your local, state and national political representatives to support invasive and noxious weed management efforts.
- Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden and remove any known invaders.
- Share your NISAW activities with friends and followers via text message and social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #NISAW and #InvasiveSpecies!
There will also be four free webinars during National Invasive Species Awareness Week, May 16-23, that are open to the public:
- May 18: Invasive Species Prevention Outreach Brands and How to Use Them
- May 19: EmpowerU! Learn How to Help Your Audience Engage Decision Makers
- May 20: Public Gardens as Sentinels Against Invasive Plants
- May 21: Successful Aquatic Plant Management Strategies Across the United States
Register at: www.naisma.org/programs/nisaw/#webinars.
Since weeds know no borders, the Canadian Council on Invasive Species is also sponsoring free webinars during National Invasive Species Awareness Week, including:
- May 19: Preventing Aquatic Invasive Species through Clean Drain Dry
- May 20: Be Plant Wise: Preventing the Spread of Garden Invaders through Partnership
- May 21: Reducing the Spread of Invasive Species through Play Clean Go
To register, visit https://canadainvasives.ca/programs/resources.