Interested Parties to the Great Lakes Panel on ANS may use this page to provide updates on their agency or organization's aquatic invasive species activities. Please provide the name of your organization, a brief summary of the activities, and contact information. You may refer to the Panel Member Updates page for example updates.
U.S. Forest Service
The Eastern Region of the U.S. Forest Service is receiving funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for aquatic invasive species (AIS) outreach and education efforts in the Great Lakes region. These funds will be used to support three initiatives: (1) a mass media campaign, (2) boat cleaning efforts in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and (3) increased AIS education at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL and Discovery World in Milwaukee, WI. The Forest Service is using diverse approaches to AIS outreach and education, seeking to reach a broad spectrum of stakeholders. We anticipate that our GLRI-related AIS outreach and education efforts will result in over 26 million public impressions in 2010.
The mass media campaign will be conducted through a partnership with Wildlife Forever and will aim to educate hunters, anglers, and other recreational boaters about AIS and best practices to avoid spreading AIS. The campaign will include billboards, public service announcements, and other promotional materials and events. Representatives from Wildlife Forever will be approaching other federal agencies, states, NGOs, and corporate interests to leverage GLRI funds and expand the campaign. Wildlife Forever will feature "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers" messages and branding in the materials they promulgate.
A 13-episode conservation education television program will also be produced and aired as part of this initiative. The focus of these episodes will be on AIS issues in the Great Lakes region. Many of the AIS issues that members of the Great Lakes Panel deal with and the approaches they are using to address them, particularly in the context of the GLRI, would make excellent topics for this program.
Forest Service GLRI funds will also be used to enhance AIS slow-the-spread efforts in the western UP, particularly in and around the Ottawa National Forest, beginning in the summer of 2010. The Forest Service will install permanent boat washing stations at two Forest Service boat launches, one on Lake Superior at Black River Harbor and one at Hagerman Lake. Additionally, we will purchase several portable boat washing units and will work with local partners to deploy and staff these units. We will also work with local partners to improve AIS signage at lakes throughout the western UP.
Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and Discovery World in Milwaukee both have significant and trusted voices for communicating conservation messages to the public. The Forest Service has partnership agreements with these institutions and has previously supported their development of conservation exhibits. Using GLRI funds, we anticipate working with Shedd Aquarium and Discovery World to increase and improve their AIS messaging. As one example, we are working with Wildlife Forever to locate a corporate donor that will provide a boat, motor, and trailer for Shedd to use in their display at the Chicago Boat, RV, and Outdoor show in January of 2010. Shedd will feature this boat in their display at the show and focus their messages on what boaters must do to prevent the spread of AIS.
Finally, the Eastern Region office of the Forest Service in Milwaukee, WI has recently hired an aquatic ecologist with a background in AIS research. John Rothlisberger received his PhD from Dr. David Lodge's lab at the University of Notre Dame, completing his degree in August 2009. Rothlisberger anticipates interacting with the Great Lakes Panel on behalf of the Forest Service.
The Forest Service is currently seeking nomination to At-Large member status on the Panel.
Contact: John Rothlisberger, 414-297-1749, email@example.com