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Make A Difference By Taking Action Against Invasive Species
Volunteers can help fight a variety of invasive species, through service projects or just making simple changes at home, such as landscaping with native plants. Photo Courtesy Of California State Parks Foundation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites everyone with an interest in natural resources to join in recognizing California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW), which continues through Sunday, June 11. For the past 10 years, CDFW has devoted the first week in June to engaging the public in taking action to prevent the harmful impacts of non-native plants and animals that threaten California’s natural resources, ecology and economy.

On Friday, June 2, California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot kicked off the observance by hosting a webinar titled “Defending the Golden State: Safeguarding Californians from Invasive Species.” The webinar featured a panel of experts including California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.

Historically, agencies, non-profits and volunteer organizations across the state have teamed up to host events for CISAW. This year, opportunities to participate include virtual events and activities in all parts of the state, such as:

Restoring habitat at Tolowa Dunes State Park in Crescent City with California State Parks, Tolowa Dunes Stewards and Redwood Parks Conservancy.

Protecting the American River Parkway near Sacramento from invasive plants with the American River Parkway Foundation.

Becoming a “Weed Warrior” at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego by assisting with efforts to remove non-native grasses and other invasive plants.

Learning how to identify Lake Tahoe’s native and invasive aquatic plants during a webinar with the League to Save Lake Tahoe.

Watching lunchtime webinars from the University of California Cooperative Extension on topics such as removing the invasive seaweed Caulerpa and efforts to stop damaging insects from entering California.

Visit the CISAW schedule on CDFW’s website for details on these events and many more.

You can also watch webinars and learn about how to stop the spread of invasive species by taking small, everyday actions, such as landscaping with native plants, not releasing unwanted pets into the wild, reporting invasive species findings, 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.

Also, CDFW will announce winners of the annual California Invasive Species Youth Art and Video Contest on social media. This year’s theme was “Think Ahead and Prevent the Spread.”

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