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Michigan's Invasive Species Community

Paige Filice

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  1. Registration for the award-winning Michigan State University Extension Introduction to Lakes Online course is now open! This six-week online course runs January 25- March 16, 2022 and is designed for anyone interested in inland lakes, including lakefront property owners, recreational users and managers. Course topics include lake ecology, watershed management, shoreline protection, aquatic plants, Michigan water law, and community engagement. The course consists of pre-recorded video lectures, interactive activities, discussion forums, resources, and three live Ask-an-Expert webinars featuring experts from Michigan State University, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. A certificate of completion is awarded to those who complete the course and participants receive a free, one-year membership to Michigan Lakes and Streams Association. Participants can also receive continuing education credits including 16 Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Pesticide Applicator Re-Certification credits (8 Comm. Core and 8 Aquatics) and credits in the MSU Extension Master Citizen Planner, Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, and Conservation Stewards programs. Registration is open now through January 21, 2022. The cost of the course is $115 per person. Register by January 3, 2022 for an early bird price of $95 per person. Learn more and register on the Introduction to Lakes website at www.canr.msu.edu/lakesonline.
  2. Invasive zebra mussels found hiding in aquarium plants at pet stores Vigilant pet retailers and hobbyists can prevent invasive species from spreading https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/invasive-zebra-mussels-found-hiding-in-aquarium-plants-for-sale-at-pet-stores Update from Michigan State University Extension: An observant employee at a Seattle Petco recently discovered zebra mussels in a shipment of Marimo moss balls which are popular in fish aquariums and are sometimes used as houseplants. The employee reported their findings in the United States Geological Survey Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database, alerting aquatic invasive species managers across the United States. Since the initial report, multiple states reported zebra mussels in moss balls available for sale at popular pet retailers. The products have since been removed from retail shelves. While invasive zebra mussels are now common in many water bodies in Michigan, they still pose an invasion risk here, and are far less common in the western United States. Decontamination Recommendations Infested moss balls and packaging should be double bagged, sealed and disposed of in the trash. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends that tank water from aquariums holding infested moss balls be decontaminated by adding 1/10 cup bleach to every gallon of water and allowing at least 10 minutes of contact time before draining. Discoveries of zebra mussels in retail stock or in household aquariums must be reported to the state. Reports should be made to Seth Herbst, DNR Aquatic Species and Regulatory Affairs Unit Manager, at HerbstS1@Michigan.gov or 517-388-7759. You can also use this contact information for assistance with inspection or proper disposal. Read more here. Michigan's RIPPLE program (Reduce Invasive Pet and Plant Escapes) offers clear guidance on how to avoid spreading invasive species via aquarium and water garden hobbies. For more information, contact Paige Filice with MSU Extension.
  3. Learn about Michigan’s lakes online from MSU Extension The Michigan State University Extension Introduction to Lakes online course is being offered January 2021 and registration is now open! This nationally recognized six-week course is in a convenient self-paced online format and is designed for lake users, lakefront property owners, and professionals who want to improve their understanding of lakes and their protection and management. Over 700 people have participated in the class since it was first offered online in 2015. The online format allows you to have week-by-week, 24/7 access to six online units featuring video lectures, activities, resources, discussion forums, quizzes, and Ask-an-Expert webinar sessions with professionals from Michigan State University and other organizations. The course covers lake ecology, lakes and their watersheds, shorelines, Michigan water law, aquatic plant management, and community involvement. The course schedule allows for regular online communication with classmates and course instructors. The 2021 course runs January 19 - March 26. The cost of the course is $115 per person. Register by December 28, 2020 for an early bird price of $95 per person. Registration is open through January 14, 2021. Everyone who completes the course will receive a free, one-year membership to Michigan Lake Stewardship Associations, including four issues of The Michigan Riparian magazine. Continuing Education Credits are also being pursued including 16 Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Pesticide Applicator Re-Certification credits and credits in the MSU Extension Master Citizen Planner program, Master Gardener program and Conservation Stewards Program. For more details about the course and to register visit the MSU Extension Introduction to Lakes webpage at http://www.canr.msu.edu/lakesonline.
  4. Hi! I was recently asked by a CISMA to create PowerPoint slides regarding the RIPPLE campaign and invasive species found in the pet and water garden industry. I imagine a lot of you do presentations to the public and you may find the slides useful as well. The slides cover a wide range of topics depending on the audience you are talking to. One great aspect of RIPPLE is that everyone can relate to a pet. RIPPLE focuses on proper containment and disposal of pets and aquatic plants. Since May 2016 I have been working with local pet and water garden retailers, educating them about proper containment and encouraging them to display educational materials for the public. If you are interested in learning more about RIPPLE and how you can be involved please reach out to me at filicepa@msu.edu. You can order free RIPPLE outreach materials here. Or better yet, share RIPPLE educational messages on Facebook at facebook.com/miripple or twitter #miripple. RIPPLE_Example_Slides_Oct 2016.pptx
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