New webinar series explores Michigan’s efforts to fight invasive species

LANSING—Many invasive species are already in Michigan, causing harm to the state’s waters, woods and open space, and others could be on the way. What is being done to respond to these threats?

A certified pesticide applicator prepares to inject an infested hemlock tree with pesticide. Michigan Invassive Species Program photo.

NotMISpecies, a new, monthly webinar series from Michigan’s Invasive Species Program, will take an in-depth look at efforts across the state to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants, insects, animals and diseases.

Michigan’s Invasive Species Program is a collaborative effort of the departments of Natural Resources; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Agriculture and Rural Development. The program coordinates and supports invasive species initiatives across the state and provides support through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.

Those concerned about the impacts of invasive species or interested in the techniques used to prevent, detect and control them are encouraged to take advantage of this free webinar series. Topics include species-specific actions such as those under way to control red swamp crayfish; innovations in research and technology, like those being used to respond to grass carp in Lake Erie; and programs designed to help communities prevent and manage harmful invasive species.

“We’re excited to be able to showcase the work that’s happening behind the scenes, including the collaboration and resource sharing between agencies, researchers, businesses and local communities,” said Joanne Foreman, DNR invasive species communications coordinator. “There are no simple, ready-made solutions for keeping invasive species out of the state or eliminating those that are here, but Michigan remains at the forefront of many national and bi-national efforts to find sound solutions.”

Each hour-long webinar will introduce audiences to the people on the front lines of invasive species prevention and response. They will share what they are learning about how species behave outside their native environments and how this knowledge helps to prevent or control infestations. A question and answer period will follow each presentation.

An acoustic transmitter is inserted into the stomach cavity of a grass carp and blood is drawn to determine the carp’s reproductive status. Michigan Invasive Species Program photo.

The series kicks off at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 with a look at how science and technology are fueling a multi-jurisdictional response to grass carp in Lake Erie.

“Delicious but Dangerous,” at 9 a.m. Nov. 17, examines the hazards caused by thousands of burrowing invasive red swamp crayfish and how this species’ habits complicate removal efforts.

The series takes a break for the holidays and returns Jan. 22, 2021, with “Hemlock Rescue,” a look at the labor-intensive effort to inventory and treat eastern hemlock trees infested with hemlock woolly adelgid. Topics for future sessions will be added throughout the year.

Each webinar will be presented live, with recordings available for viewing approximately one week after the live event. For more information on each NotMISpecies webinar, including registration links, visit Michigan.gov/EGLEEvents.

(In the photo at top, A team from DNR, EGLE and Michigan State University looks for red swamp crayfish in burrows.)

 

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