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Help guard biodiversity during Invasive Species Action Week
Shown, a crew involved in the 2023 Iceplant removal by Big Sur Land Trust as part of California Invasive Species Action Week. Photo Contributed

Preventing harmful impacts of non-native plants and animals protects the biodiversity of California — home to more species than any other state in the union. California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW), continuing through Sunday, June 9, educates and calls for the public to take action to guard California’s natural resources, ecology and economy.

CDFW Invasive Species Program scientist Daydre Roser urges all Californians to get involved as “invasive species reduce the biodiversity that is so important to our landscape.”

Throughout the state the week will see volunteers removing invasive plants, interactive activities, a series of educational webinars and the reveal of the 2024 Youth Art Contest winner, among other events. The theme of this year’s Youth Art Contest was Species Reporters Wanted — What’s the Scoop on Invasives.

CDFW staff will join in CISAW efforts, teaming up with the American River Parkway Foundation to help eradicate non-native plants along the American River in Sacramento.

Virtual and in-person opportunities to participate in CISAW include:

Tune in to the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Lunchtime Talks webinar series, where each weekday experts will take on invasive species topics such as the tree-killing shothole borer beetle that is making its way into the Bay Area or the threat of yellow starthistle — what some consider the state’s most invasive plant.

Join members of the American River Parkway Foundation’s Invasive Plant Patrol on Friday, June 7, to uproot non-native plants along the American River Parkway in Sacramento.

Get educated about the invasive quagga mussel with the East Bay Regional Park District on Saturday, June 8. Interactive activities at Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton will show effects of and how to prevent infestation of the quagga mussel in California lakes.

Meet up with the Cosumnes River Preserve Habitat Restoration Team Saturday, June 8, at the Cosumnes River Preserve in Galt for a day of environmental stewardship that will center around protecting valley oak riparian habitat along the Cosumnes watershed.

Volunteer to help members of the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Society as they go to work in Bodega Bay on Sunday, June 9, to remove South African ice plant that was once used for erosion control along California’s coast.

Find further details and a full list of CISAW events online.

Residents can also be a part of the effort to remove invasive species and restore wildlife habitat throughout the year by volunteering through the California State Parks Foundation and other local organizations, or by reporting invasive species to iNaturalist and/or CDFW’s Invasive Species app (through EDDMaps).

Californians can also help stop the spread of invasive species by taking small, everyday actions, such as landscaping with native plants, not releasing unwanted pets into the wild and cleaning, draining and drying gear when recreating in bodies of water. The CISAW web page lists simple actions Californians can take all year long while visiting natural areas, boating or fishing, or at home.

The mission of CDFW’s Invasive Species Program is to reduce the impacts of invasive species on the wildlands and waterways of California. The program is involved in efforts to prevent the introduction of these species into the state, detect and respond to introductions when they occur, and prevent the spread of those species that have established. For questions or more information about CISAW, contact