This week, the New York State Association of Counties and its member counties are participating in New York State’s first Invasive Species Awareness Week.
An invasive species is a non-native species (plant, animal, insect, or disease) that is accidentally or intentionally introduced into an environment and causes harm to the ecosystem, the economy, or human health.
Invasive species affect all New Yorkers – from hikers to highway personnel, from gardeners and birders to boaters, and from farmers to foresters. Invasive species are harmful because they reproduce quickly, out-compete native species, and adapt to new environments.
Economists estimate that invasive species cost the United States more than $120 billion in damages every year.
The mission of the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species to help stop their spread by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state and encouraging them to take action. Nearly 100 events are planned statewide this week – for the full list, see www.nyis.info/blog/events/
To learn more about invasive species that impact your county and what you can do, visit www.nyis.info
Summer is the perfect time to talk about invasive species as many New Yorkers are camping, boating and enjoying the outdoors, potentially coming face to face with many invasive species. The public can help combat the spread of invasive species if they are aware of how they are spread, and know how to avoid making a bad situation worse.
Governor Cuomo has issued a proclamation recognizing Invasive Species Awareness Week. Many counties have also passed resolutions to draw attention to ISAW and the dangers of invasive species.
“Invasive species have a continual threat to our precious waterways, farmland, forests, and other natural resources throughout New York’s Counties,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario. “It is crucial that we raise the awareness of this ongoing threat with the public, and that we do all that is possible to keep invasives out of New York State before they have a chance to do serious and costly damage to our environment.”