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Michigan's aquatic invasive species plan updated
March 23, 2012 12-0323
For More Information Sarah LeSage, 517-241-7931, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Wurfel, 517-373-7917, email@example.com
Public comment sought on draft management strategy
The DEQ today announced the draft Aquatic Invasive Species State Management Plan is available for public comment, and a public meeting is scheduled in April to discuss the draft plan.
The AIS State Management Plan details existing and proposed strategic actions needed to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS, and to limit the harmful effects in Michigan waters. Invasive species negatively impact Michigan's aquatic ecosystems, creating environmental and economic consequences.
Michigan's original AIS State Management Plan was completed in 1996 under the auspices of the National Invasive Species Act, and last updated in 2002. It offers a comprehensive strategic guide for state agencies charged with responding to existing invasive species and preventing the introduction of new ones.
Where the original plan focused largely on responding to specific invasive species, the draft update announced today places stronger emphasis on blocking pathways of AIS introduction and spread. Strategies for the early detection of AIS and rapid response actions to manage them are also included in the draft plan.
The draft management plan update is a collaborative effort involving several state agencies, including the DEQ and state departments of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Transportation. Plan authors solicited input from partners and stakeholders to identify gaps and strengthen the overall plan. Feedback received from previous public meetings and comment periods in 2008 and 2009 also contributed to the current plan.
A public meeting is scheduled April 12 at the Best Western Plus in Lansing, from 12:45 - 4:45 p.m. This meeting will provide more background on the AIS State Management Plan and give interested parties the opportunity to provide feedback and comments.
The meeting is open to the public and intended for anyone with a vested interest and/or concern for AIS issues in Michigan. Breakout sessions will provide participants the opportunity to share comments on AIS issues associated with boating and ballast water, organisms in trade and habitat alteration, AIS management and control, and early detection and rapid response. While there is no fee to attend the public meeting, advance registration is requested.
The draft AIS State Management Plan is available for review at www.michigan.govdeqaquaticinvasives.
The Web site also offers additional meeting details and instructions for submitting comments, which are accepted through May 1. For more information, contact Sarah LeSage of DEQ's Water Resources Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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