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In an effort to increase awareness of invasive species and the impact they have on Iowa’s ecosystems and economy, Governor Branstad recently proclaimed June as Invasive Species Awareness Month in Iowa.
Each year, Iowa spends millions of dollars on the control of invasive plants, insects, animal species and diseases in woodlands, wetlands, waterbodies and urban areas around the state.
“The discovery and spread of emerald ash borer in Iowa has brought to light the devastating effect an invasive species can have,” says Chuck Gipp, DNR Director.
Invasive Species Awareness Month provides an opportunity for the public and private sectors to join forces, and take action against the introduction and spread of invasive species in the Iowa.
“We need to be vigilant in preventing further introduction of unwanted insect, plant and animal species into our neighborhoods and ecosystems,” adds Gipp, “and knowledge is the first step in this effort.”
The June proclamation is particularly timely as outdoor enthusiasts head out to boat, fish and camp. Iowa’s aquatic invasive species law is aimed at preventing recreationists from transporting invasive fish, plants and other aquatic life. Details on how to prevent aquatic nuisance species can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/About-Fishing-in-Iowa/Fighting-Invasive-Species
Campers should only use local firewood when travelling away from home to avoid the potential spread of emerald ash borer. Research has shown that emerald ash borers can only fly a few miles, which helps slow its natural spread. However, it is easily transported to new areas when people inadvertently move emerald ash borer larvae inside of infested firewood, ash nursery stock, and other ash items.
More information on invasive species can be found on the DNR website, www.iowadnr.gov , by searching EAB, invasive plants, invasive fish, aquatic invasive invertebrates or aquatic invasive plants.