February 15-17, 2013
IISG AIS Outreach Team educates hundreds at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel Show
Danielle Hilbrich from the IISG aquatic invasive species (AIS) outreach team attended the Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel Show at the Indiana State Fair Grounds in Indianapolis, IN on February 15-17. Danielle teamed up with the Indiana DNR to host a booth and educate recreational water users on the dangers of AIS. Danielle talked with 850 people about AIS, and handed out hundreds of Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!™ stickers and brochures. Many show attendees were very aware of problems that the invasive species like Zebra Mussel, Eurasian Watermilfoil, and Hydrilla can cause on aquatic ecosystems, and regularly boat on lakes infested with these invaders. Although one young show attendee called zebra mussel shells her “lake treasures,” we know that they are unwanted invaders!
Attendees were educated about the proper techniques to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. AIS spread can be slowed by following just a few simple steps: INSPECT and REMOVE any aquatic plants or animals from boats and recreational equipment, DRAIN all water from equipment, DISPOSE of unwanted live bait or fish into the trash, DRY equipment thoroughly, and NEVER release organisms from one waterbody to another. One show-goer was surprised to find out that dumping bait in the trash was a way to prevent the spread invasive species. Thankfully, Danielle was there to educate this angler!
For more information on aquatic invasive species or the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!™ campaign please visit IISG’s Stop Aquatic Hitchhiker’s page at http://iiseagrant.org/ais/SAH.html or www.protectyourwaters.net.
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant AIS outreach team is part of the Illinois Natural History Survey Lake Michigan Biological Station, and is housed at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL.