Thursday, June 27, 2013

The word on invasive species is.... Transport Zero


The word on invasive species is....  Transport Zero
“Be a Hero—Transport Zero” is a new statewide Illinois program to raise awareness about how the public can help prevent the spread of invasive species on land and in waterways. These plants and animals, when introduced into new environments, have resulted in significant economic and ecological costs.
This campaign kicks off in May on television and radio, and in print, as well as at boat shows and boat landings, targeted to recreational water users who might unknowingly spread these species from one water body to another.

“When people trailer their boats after a day on the water, they could be carrying aquatic invasive species, which could accidentally be introduced into a new waterbody,” said Sarah Zack, IISG AIS specialist. “Our message emphasizes three actions to help them prevent this from happening—remove, drain, and dry. Remove plants, animals, and mud from all equipment, drain water, and dry everything.”

Over 180 non-native species have been introduced into the Great Lakes region. Some of these—such as the zebra mussel, Eurasian watermilfoil, and round goby—have flourished, and as a result, have pushed out native species and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of economic damage. More aquatic invasive species such as these lurk on the horizon as threats to Lake Michigan and inland waters.

Be a Hero—Transport Zero is designed to address the spread of invasive species on land, as well. “It conveys a unifying message that gets the point across. It’s a simple and catchy way to inform many in the general public, including hikers, campers, hunters—anyone who is engaged in the natural world,” said Chris Evans, biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

This summer and beyond, the new message will be promoted on WGN Radio, Illinois Outdoors and Outdoor Traditions TV programs, and Illinois Outdoor News magazine. As the campaign progresses, look for the Be a Hero—Transport Zero message at trailheads and in hunting guides and pamphlets at natural areas throughout the state.

This campaign is funded through Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. For more information visit


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