The Current Webinar 39: Successful Efforts in Stopping Aquatic Invasive Species from the Pet and Pond Trades highlighted the various preventative projects and programs currently being utilized across the North Central Region in blocking aquatic invasives from these trades. Extension professionals from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin shared both regional and state-specific programs that are helping reduce aquatic invasive pet species in our waterways. Through retail and organization collaboration, re-homing events, online tools, social media use, and curriculum, Extension is helping keep our waters safe and educating retailers and consumers on AIS issues.
Miss the webinar? Watch the full recording on our YouTube channel. Don’t have time to watch the recording? Not a problem – here are three big takeaways:
- Doug Jensen and Tim Campbell presented on how they adapted, revitalized, and localized Habitattitude, a national campaign aimed at reducing invasive fish and aquatic plant release, into contemporary Minnesota and Wisconsin settings. They noted how collaboration between local humane societies, ecology centers, aquarium societies, schools and other aquatic-oriented programs were key to the program’s success and educating the public.
- Paige Filice’s presentation focused on how Michigan’s RIPPLE (Reduce Invasive Pet & Plant Escapes) program is built on a foundation of data and Michigan-specific collaborations with independent store owners to reduce invasive pet species release. Filice also shared research looking at Michigan pet retailers and hobbyists perspectives on aquatic invasive species, finding that hobbyists expect to receive information about invasive species while making purchases and believe retailers are responsible for sharing this information. However, her research also showed over 40% of pet retailers feel they are only somewhat or not at all responsible for sharing this information suggesting further engage with pet retailers on the topic is needed.
- Greg Hitzroth put the spotlight on three Illinois-Indiana AIS outreach resources aimed at preventing aquatic invasive pet species release. One of the resources mentioned, TakeAIM.org, provides information on state and federal regulations, outreach resources, and information on aquatic vets and re-homing.
You can watch the full webinar recording on the Network’s YouTube Channel. For more information on our speakers and the work presented in this webinar, please contact the presenters: