This week is Invasive Species Awareness Week (6/7-6/13), a statewide event sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This annual event aims to raise awareness about invasive species and strives to help educate people on how to prevent their spread in order to protect our natural areas. Did you know invasive species cost the U.S. more than $120 billion in damages each year? The North Shore Land Alliance has produced a series of educational videos they will post throughout the week that detail how to identify some commonly found invasives like garlic mustard and narrowleaf bittercress and what the appropriate actions are for their removal.
An invasive species is a plant, animal, insect or pathogen that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. In the latter case, the harm must significantly outweigh any benefits. Invasive species are found all over the North Shore of Long Island whether it be at nature preserves, parks or even your own backyard. They can spread rapidly and compete or overtake native plants and animals. Management of invasive species is critical in protecting natural species and the biodiversity of ecosystems.
The idea behind the Land Alliance presentations is for homeowners to become familiar with these species so they can nip them in the bud (so to speak) if they find them on their properties. The Land Alliance has three summer interns this year who will spend many hours each week removing invasive species from Land Alliance preserves.
To learn more about Invasive Species Awareness Week please visit https://nyisaw.org/.