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Home / Invasive Species Resources by Subject or Type / Public Awareness Campaigns

Public Awareness Campaigns

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Don't Move a Mussel!
Provides selected resources for campaigns and programs designed to increase public awareness of invasive species issues. See also:

  • Educator resources for educators helping students learn more about invasive species issues
  • Outreach and Awareness for general information and outreach materials to increase awareness of invasive species issues
  • Public Awareness Campaign for campaigns and programs designed to increase public awareness of invasive species issues
  • What You Can Do to learn about general volunteer opportunities and ways the average citizen can help to control invasive species

Spotlights

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared April 2021 as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month (IPPDAM). The national outreach initiative enlists the public in the fight against invasive pests. These damaging invaders threaten our nation’s food crops, forests and natural resources. IPPDAM aims to raise public awareness about this threat, which can devastate agriculture, livelihoods and food security.

U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proclamation to recognize the designation of the week of June 21 – 27, 2021 as National Pollinator Week.

Pollinator species, such as birds, bats, bees, and other insects, play an important role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $18 billion in value to agricultural crops annually and are critical to ensuring our diets are plentiful with fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

North American Invasive Species Management Association.

A new invasive species coalition is celebrating significant milestones in preventing expansion of invasive species after the first anniversary of an important agreement. The North American Invasive Species Management Association, Wildlife Forever, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to implement on-the-ground strategies to engage the American public and help prevent the spread of invasive species under the new agreement.

Wildlife Forever.

Wildlife Forever and Major League Fishing (MLF) announced that the two organizations have signed an important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to combat the spread of invasive species. The new MOU will work to integrate Clean Drain Dry communications and marketing through tournament operations, angler education, and community outreach. Professional anglers are ambassadors for the fishing industry but also key conservationists in working to protect the sport. Integrating the Clean Drain Dry Initiative brand with professional anglers will give them the right tools to prevent spread and inspire their followers and fans to do the same.

Governor of the State of Hawai'i.

October is "Stop the Ant Month" in Hawai'i and a multi-agency effort will be ongoing throughout the month to increase awareness of the importance of early detection to prevent and control the spread of the invasive little fire ant (LFA). The Hawai'i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Hawai'i Ant Lab (HAL) and partner agencies, including the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council, the Invasive Species Committees and the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species will be asking residents on O'ahu, Kaua'i and Maui County to survey their properties for LFA by using a little peanut butter on a chopstick and leaving them in several areas for about one hour. Residents may request a free ant-collection kit through the website: https://stoptheant.org/. The website also has maps of areas where LFA have been detected in Hawai'i.

Nature Conservancy.

The Don’t Move Firewood campaign is an outreach partnership managed by The Nature Conservancy. The overarching goal of the campaign is to protect trees and forests all across North America from invasive insects and diseases that can travel in or on contaminated firewood. The central tenet of the Don’t Move Firewood campaign is that everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread of invasive tree killing insects and diseases, through making better informed firewood choices. For more information on how you can do your part, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

See also: Top 5 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Ideas for 2021 -- During Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (May 23- 29, 2021) everyone is encouraged to take a few minutes to learn about the signs and symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation on ash trees, so that the infestations can be better managed by local tree professionals and foresters.

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council; DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service; DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Habits, Attitude, and Habitat—together they comprise Habitattitude. This educational campaign with the uncommon name addresses common concerns of private enterprise, state and federal natural resource agencies, and responsible pet owners: protecting our environment from the impacts of invasive species. Habitattitude seeks to inspire and empower people to explore the connection between responsible pet ownership and environmental stewardship.

See Habitattitude Prevents Pet Release in Wild (Press Release - Jun 12, 2019) announcing the re-launch of the Habitattitude educational campaign. Habitattitude’s website provides guidance for proper pet selection and care, along with sections on aquarium fish and water gardening. The new section on reptiles and amphibians addresses the variety of species and basic considerations and requirements for habitat, diet and health concerns. Another new component focuses on animals and plants in classroom education, and caring for them outside the home environment, in response to concerns about the potential for classroom pets to be released at the end of a school year.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Public Awareness Campaigns

Council or Task Force

Oregon Invasive Species Council.

In 2010, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho launched a tri-state outreach campaign to inform the public about the dangers of moving firewood to Pacific Northwest forests. The campaign, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, closely followed the messaging of the national Don't Move Firewood campaign, which recommends buy firewood that was cut locally, preferably within the county or region of where it will be burned. The tri-state outreach campaign, Buy It Where You Burn It, encouraged good campfire practices with branded posters, billboards, and playing cards located at rest stops and state parks.

Hawaii Invasive Species Council.

Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Month (February) seeks to promote information sharing and public engagement in what the Hawaii State Legislature has declared "the single greatest threat to Hawaii's economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people."

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers.

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers is an ANS Task Force public awareness campaign intended to educate the public on aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and stop or reduce unintended spread of ANS to new habitat by recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, waterfowl hunting, SCUBA diving or snorkeling, windsurfing, seaplane operations, personal watercraft use, and recreational bait harvesting. This campaign is supported by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Washington Invasive Species Council.

Prevention and early detection of invasive species depends upon the help of the public, industry partners, and policymakers. The council has helped developed tools and regional messaging that have successfully raised public awareness about invasive species, their impacts on native ecosystems, and the steps people can take to prevent the spread of invasive species. Campaigns include:

  • Buy it Where you Burn it
  • Clean, Drain, Dry
  • Don’t Let it Loose
  • Don’t Pack a Pest
  • Play, Clean, Go
  • Squeal on Pigs!
Partnership

National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is an international event to raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose, and what can be done to prevent their spread. Representatives from local, state, federal, and regional organizations discuss legislation, policies, and improvements that can be made to prevent and manage invasive species via webinars. Across the country, partners hold public events to educate the public and elected officials about how they can help to stop the spread of invasive species.

SAVE THE DATE: NISAW 2022 -- Feb 28-Mar 4, 2022

Note: Archived 2021 webinars are available for viewing, as well as information from past NISAW meetings.

  • Part I -- Information and Advocacy (Feb 22-26, 2021)
  • Part II— Outreach and Education (May 15-22, 2021)

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program; Illinois Natural History Survey; Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Invasive species – non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that cause harm to natural areas – impact both our economy and the environment. Their environmental impacts can affect outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and birding. You can help prevent these impacts by becoming a hero and joining the more than 90% of outdoor enthusiasts in Illinois who are already fighting the spread of invaders.

Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat.
The Be Plant Wise campaign, launched by Defra and the Scottish Government, is designed to raise awareness among gardeners, pond owners and retailers of the damage caused by invasive aquatic plants and to encourage the public to dispose of these plants correctly. We have developed resources with advice for gardeners and pond owners and are working closely with retailers of aquatic plants to provide information in stores. These pages contain the detailed information you need to Be Plant Wise.

Wildlife Forever.

Wildlife Forever has teamed up with more than 2,500 organizations across the nation, including Federal, State, and Canadian organizations, to stop the spread of invasive species with the CLEAN DRAIN DRY Initiative. This national campaign educates outdoor recreational users on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Strategic communications, marketing, outreach and educational services provide access to consistent messaging and resources for local communities to implement prevention programs.

Invasive Species Action Network (ISAN).

ISAN works with western state governments and independent pet stores to publicize options for pet owners who are no longer able or willing to care for their exotic pets.
See also: Don't Let It Loose

United States Department of Agriculture; DHS. Customs and Border Protection; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Don't Pack a Pest's goal is to educate travelers about the risks associated with carrying certain types of food, plants, or other agricultural items in passenger baggage and encouraging travelers to declare agricultural items and Don’t Pack a Pest. This inter-governmental program is working to safeguard food and agriculture in the U.S. and beyond.

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada; Environment Canada.

Welcome to Habitattitude, a web site dedicated to invasive alien species for aquarium hobbyists, backyard pond owners, water gardeners and others who are concerned about conserving our natural aquatic environment. Introduction and spread of harmful plants and animals in our waterways as a result of these activities, is a growing concern. While most aquatic invasive species do not survive when released into the environment, some may, and if left unchecked, can cause irreversible damage to the environment by degrading our aquatic resources and making waters unusable for recreation. If you are an aquarium hobbyist or enjoy backyard pond and water gardening, you can learn more on this website.

Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign.

Invasive Species Action Network (ISAN).

The Invasive Species Action Network (ISAN) is dedicated to reducing the human-caused spread of aquatic invasive species. ISAN provides solutions to invasive species problems by working with the public, private industry and government entities. They focus on scientific research, education and outreach programs as well as policy development.
See also: Outreach Programs which tackle a variety of demographics, including boaters, anglers, and pet owners. These partnerships leverage strong community ties into action.

Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign.

New York Invasive Species Awareness Week.

The mission of the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the harm they can cause by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state, and empowering them to take action to help stop the spread. This annual education campaign is comprised of various outreach initiatives and events led by partner organizations statewide. Activities include interpretive hikes, invasive plant removal, and restoration projects, displays, webinars, radio and television programming, and more.

United Soybean Board.

Take Action is a farmer-focused education platform designed to help farmers manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance. The goal is to encourage farmers to adopt management practices that lessen the impacts of resistant pests and preserve current and future crop protection technology.

Federal Government

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is hosting African Swine Fever (ASF) Action Week from September 13-17 – encouraging U.S. swine producers to join multiple webinars to learn about ASF and what they can do to help protect the U.S. swine herd. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also recorded a video echoing the importance of keeping this devastating disease out of the United States.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Public outreach and educational site (former Asianlonghornedbeetle.com site).

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

APHIS offers the Defend the Flock education program to provide the tools and resources you need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to keep your birds healthy and reduce the risk that an infectious disease will spread from your property to other flocks.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

When it comes to preventing the spread of invasive pests, every one of us can play a big role. By doing the right things we can all help stop this threat to so much that we value. Please do your part and learn what you can do to leave Hungry Pests behind.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

August is the height of summer, and it is also the best time to spot the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) as it starts to emerge from trees. Because the ALB is particularly active this time of year, it can be easier to spot it or the signs of the beetle. Take a 10-minute walk around your yard or neighborhood and inspect your trees. If you see any signs, report ALB.

See also: Press Release - USDA Urges Public to Check Trees for Asian Longhorned Beetle and to Not Move Untreated Firewood (Aug 3, 2021)

State and Local Government

California Natural Resources Agency.

California Biodiversity Day takes place on September 7th of each year, marking the anniversary of the launch of the California Biodiversity Initiative in 2018. This annual event celebrates our state’s exceptional biodiversity, while also encouraging actions to protect it. This year, we are excited to have many partners joining us to host California Biodiversity Day events from September 4-12, 2021. Check out events and see how you can particpate.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The goals of the California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW) are to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and promote public participation in the fight against California's invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

Prevention is the most effective strategy in managing invasive species. However, hundreds of invasive plants and animals have already established in California and are rapidly spreading each year. These invaders are negatively impacting our waters, our native plants and animals (some of them rare, threatened, or endangered), our agriculture, our health, our economy, and our favorite recreational places. Help us celebrate California's Invasive Species Action Week, and more importantly, help stop the spread of invasive species, by volunteering to take action.

Learn how invasive species are affecting California, with Invasive Species Week Lunchtime Talks (June 7-11, 2021). Webinars are part of California Invasive Species Action Week, organized by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. Webinars were recorded and available for viewing.

Academic

University of Minnesota. Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.

Michigan State University Extension.

The Reduce Invasive Pet and Plant Escapes (RIPPLE) program offers information to aquarium and water gardener professionals, retailers and hobbyists about what to do with unwanted plants and animals so they are not introduced into Michigan's lakes and streams.

Professional

North American Invasive Species Management Association.

PlayCleanGo is an education and outreach campaign for outdoor recreationalists in North America. The goal is to encourage outdoor recreation while protecting valuable natural resources. The objective is to slow or stop the spread of terrestrial invasive species (those that occur on land) through changes in public behavior. See how you can take action and stop invasive species in your tracks.

The third annual PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is June 5-12, 2021 across North America. The goal of the campaign is to show outdoor enthusiasts how they can stop invasive plants and pests from spreading — while enjoying the great outdoors.

Coastal Conservation Association Maryland.

An angling-based effort to provide important data to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, USFWS, and other management agencies on what you're seeing on the water. Information related to the number of fish you catch during a given time, as well as the length and weight of the fish you catch is important to fishery managers. It is also vital to investigate the feeding habits of invasive fish to help understand the short and long-term impacts that their existence may cause on native species. It is important that the public recognizes the impacts that these species can have on our natural ecosystems, and does not continue the spread of these fish. Species tracked include: snakehead, blue catfish, and flathead catfish.

Event was held April-October 2021. Monthly drawings for prizes are based on your catches reported. Every invasive you catch-photo-enter (via the iAngler app) earns you a chance of winning.