May 10, 2013

INHS’s Clean Boats Crew Hosts Free AIS Training Workshops

Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) is preparing for another successful boating season with the Clean Boats Crew. The Clean Boats Crew program hires hourlies and staffs volunteers that work to educate boaters and other recreational water users about aquatic invasive species (AIS). "Last summer, Clean Boats Crew talked with over 1800 boaters in Illinois and Indiana about how the public can help prevent the spread of AIS. This year, I’m hopeful we can repeat that success." said Sarah Zack, INHS AIS Outreach Specialist. 

In order to prepare for another busy boating season, IISG and Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership (NIIPP) will be hosting two free training events. These workshops will train participants about aquatic invasive species relevant to the southern Lake Michigan basin, as well as about techniques for interacting with the public and providing successful outreach.  Attending the training isn’t mandatory in order to volunteer for Clean Boats Crew, but is encouraged. The workshops will take place at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois on Wednesday, May 15th from 6-8pm and on Saturday, May 18th from 2-4pm.  Refreshments will be provided.  These trainings are free to all participants, but registration is required.

If you would like to learn more about the Clean Boats Crew program, or are interested in volunteering or attending one of the training workshops, please contact Cathy McGlynn at or 847-242-6423.

Illinois Natural History Survey’s AIS outreach team is part of the Lake Michigan Biological Station in Zion, Illinois and has a joint appointment with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

May 6, 2013

Illinois Natural History Survey’s Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Team highlighted in the NOAA Spotlight

Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) outreach team was recognized in a NOAA Spotlight article, along with many other collaborators, for their work on the Great Lakes Risk Assessment Tools. This tool estimates the potential invasiveness of species being sold for use in trade and hobbies such as aquaculture, live bait, and water gardens etc.  It provides insights for resources managers that may guide future policies with the goal of preventing the spread of the invasive species. This is also a tool that hobbyists and people working in the trades can use to be proactive about choosing less threatening alternative species. INHS “will be talking with retailers, hobbyists, and water gardeners—going to shows and posting information in stores—about how they can use the risks assessments as a guide to get ahead of regulations and make responsible decisions now,” said Pat Charlebois, INHS AIS Coordinator.

Visit the NOAA Spotlight article at to learn more about this initiative.

The Illinois Natural History Survey's AIS outreach team is part of the Lake Michigan Biological Station in Zion, Illinois and has a joint appointment with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.