Valerie Cook Fletcher, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 654-4267
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8858
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is holding a new “Race to Protect Your Favorite Place” Youth Poster Contest. The contest is being offered by CDFW’s Invasive Species Program as part of California Invasive Species Action Week, Aug. 2-10.
There are three age divisions, for youths in grades 2-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Participants should create an original poster that shows an invasive species that threatens their favorite outdoor place and how they can take action to help protect it.
The top three winners in each division will receive awards and have their posters displayed on CDFW’s Invasive Species Action Week webpage.
The deadline for poster entries is June 20. Completed posters and entry forms should be sent to:
CDFW Invasive Species Program
1416 Ninth St., Suite 1260
Sacramento, CA 95814
The entry form and a scan of the poster may also be emailed to Invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.
The goal of California Invasive Species Action Week is to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.
According to CDFW environmental scientist Valerie Cook Fletcher, many people don’t realize the potential implications of very simple acts. For example, that the planting of certain non-native ornamental plants can ultimately end up destroying the quality of our waterways and lands, or that the release of non-native crayfish used as bait during fishing trips has likely resulted in the decline of California’s native crayfish, and impacted other species dependent on the habitat. Action Week provides an important opportunity to educate adults and children about such invasive species.
“California’s greatest asset in invasive species management is an informed public,” said Cook Fletcher. “The public’s knowledge and collaboration is vital in preventing introductions of new invaders and stopping the spread of those that are established. Our goal is to get people out into the environment, show them the severity of what these species do, help them understand how those impacts can affect the environment and ultimately engage them in helping prevent or reduce impacts.”
Action Week activities will include presentations on aquatic and terrestrial invasives, guided outings to observe and assess infested areas, invasive species removal efforts, habitat restoration projects and the announcement of the winners of the youth poster contest. Opportunities for youths and adults to participate or volunteer will be available across the state through participating agencies, organizations and volunteer groups, with information and details to be provided on the Action Week webpage.
Please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/ActionWeek/ for contest details and more information on how to participate in Action Week.
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.