Tag Archives: invasive species

2017 Invasive Species Youth Art Contest Kicks Off with “Don’t Let it Loose” Theme

Young artists and future biologists are invited to enter this year’s California Invasive Species Art Contest, sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). This year’s theme is “Don’t Let it Loose!”

Youths in grades 2 through 12 are eligible to enter. Entries should depict invasive species that might be released into California’s waters, parks and wildlands, along with appropriate messaging such as (but not limited to) the following:2017 CISAW Youth Poster Contest Announcement Flier

  • Releasing invasive species into the wild can harm the environment and California’s native plants and animals
  • Description(s) of one or more species that are commonly released into waters, parks or wildlands
  • Explanations or illustrations showing other ways to rehome unwanted pets or plants

All types of media are welcome and encouraged – drawings, paintings, animations, comic strips, videos, public service announcements, etc. Submissions must be received no later than May 5, 2017, and may be submitted by email or regular mail.

Winners will be chosen in three age divisions: grades 2-4, 5-8 and 9-12. Winners from each division will receive awards and have their posters displayed on CDFW’s Invasive Species Action Week webpage. The submission judged to be the best overall will also receive the “Invasive Species Program Choice” Award.

The entry form and a pdf of the contest announcement flyer can be found online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/CISAW.

The contest is sponsored by CDFW’s Invasive Species Program as part of the 2017 California Invasive Species Action Week, June 3-11. The goal of the 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.

Many people don’t realize the potential implications of very simple acts. For example, the release of non-native crayfish used as fishing bait has likely resulted in the decline of California’s native crayfish and impacted other species dependent on the habitat. The dumping of aquarium plants can ultimately end up destroying the quality of our waterways and lands. Red-eared sliders, aquarium fish, and Nerodia watersnakes are other examples of released species that can become invasive and negatively impact native species.

California Invasive Species Action Week activities around the state 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.

More information about CDFW’s Invasive Species Program, including examples of invasive species currently affecting California’s wild lands, can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives.

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Media Contacts:
Rachael Klopfenstein, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-3122
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Aug. 30 quarterly meet

Green iceplant and pampas grass invade southern California coastal wetlands between two roads.
Iceplant invades coastal wetlands at Ponto Beach near Encinitas. Photo courtesy of San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy

ing, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $15 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 21 funded projects will benefit fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, landowners and the local community. The state funds for all these projects come from initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Funded projects include:

  • A $135,000 grant to the Lake County Land Trust to acquire in fee approximately 34 acres of land for the protection of shoreline freshwater wetland, riparian woodland
    and wet meadow habitats that support the state-threatened Clear Lake hitch and the western pond turtle, a state species of special concern. This will also provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities in an area known as Big Valley, on the northwestern shore of Clear Lake in Lake County.
  • A $1.2 million grant to the Feather River Land Trust for a cooperative project with the Natural Resources Agency to acquire a conservation easement over approximately
    5,530 acres of land to provide protection for deer, mountain lion and oak habitats near the town of Doyle in Lassen County.
  • A $1.7 million acquisition in fee of approximately 1,066 acres of land by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to expand the Crocker Meadows Wildlife Area, protect riparian and oak woodland habitat, and for future wildlife oriented public use opportunities near Beckwourth in Plumas County.
  • A $3 million grant to Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 871 acres of forest lands, including large areas of old and new growth redwood located near Stewarts Point in Sonoma County.
  • A $2.5 million grant to the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust for a cooperative project with the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District to acquire in fee approximately 240 acres of land as an expansion of the Sawmill Pebble Plain Ecological Preserve – rare pebble plain habitat supporting a wide variety of endemic plant species – south of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County.
  • An $850,000 grant to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy for a cooperative project to implement a comprehensive habitat restoration program, remove target nonnative invasive weed species and restore native habitat on 65 acres of coastal wetlands on several sites located at Agua Hedionda, Batiquitos Lagoon and San Elijo Lagoon. These are located from approximately nine miles north to five miles south of Encinitas on privately owned properties and on properties owned by CDFW and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

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Oak woodland on hills behind a wide, open plain with scrub brush
Crocker Meadows Wildlife Area. CDFW photo
View from hillside high above the blue Pacific ocean behind green and brown pasture land.
View from Stewarts Point Ranch in Sonoma County. CDFW photo
A rare, pebble plain habitat with goldend-dry vegetation in front of a green oak forest.
Sawmill Pebble Plain Ecological Preserve. CDFW photo

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-2420

Fresno, Livermore and Sacramento Valley Students Take Top Honors in 2016 Invasive Species Youth Art Contest

Ingram
Invasive Species Program Choice Award: Amelie Ingram, 10, Fred T. Korematsu Elementary School, Davis

The winners of “The Invader Files” Youth Art Contest have been announced by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Invasive Species Program.

As part of the California Invasive Species Action Week, 49 youths from across California submitted their original artwork. Participants were asked to pick an invasive species that causes harm to native species or the environment in California and submit their illustration of that invader and the harm it causes. The top three posters for each grade division were selected by members of the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee and the poster which best exemplified the contest theme was selected as the CDFW Invasive Species Program Choice Award.

Amelie Ingram, 10, a student at Fred T. Korematsu Elementary School in Davis, was named the winner of the Invasive Species Program Choice Award. Ingram created a comic depicting the common coqui (frog) displacing native species.

“What happens in real life is invasive species take resources like water, food and space/home from native animals,” Ingram wrote. “As they overpopulate, less native animals have homes. They are small, but scary.”

The top three winners of the 2016 Invasive Species Action Week Youth Art Contest divisions were:

Grades 2-4

  • First Place: Elsa Thornton, 10, Fort Washington Elementary School, Fresno
  • Second Place: Rylynn Shackelford, 9, Fort Washington Elementary School, Fresno
  • Third Place: Addison Galaviz, 10, Fort Washington Elementary School, Fresno
    Thornton
    First Place, Grades 2-4: Elsa Thornton, 10, Fort Washington Elementary School, Fresno
    Shackelford
    Second Place, Grades 2-4: Rylynn Shackelford, 9, Fort Washington Elementary School, Fresno

    A_Galaviz
    Third Place, Grades 2-4: Addison Galaviz, 10, Fort Washington Elementary School, Fresno

Grades 5-8

  • First Place: Luke Jiang, 11, Homeschool, Rancho Cordova,
    Second Place: Andre Russell, 11, Fort Washington Elementary School, Fresno
  • Third Place: Malia Jones, 11, Heron Elementary, Sacramento
    Jiang
    First Place, Grades 5-8: Luke Jiang, 11, Homeschool, Rancho Cordova,
    Russell
    Second Place, Grades 5-8: Andre Russell, 11, Fort Washington Elementary School, Fresno

    Jones
    Third Place, Grades 5-8: Malia Jones, 11, Heron Elementary, Sacramento

Grades 9-12

  • First Place: Bey Westcott, 18, Granada High School, Livermore
  • Second Place: Valerie Felismino, 17, Granada High School, Livermore
  • Third Place: Katey Rademann, 16, Granada High School, Livermore
    Westcott
    First Place, Grades 9-12: Bey Westcott, 18, Granada High School, Livermore
    Felismino
    Second Place, Grades 9-12: Valerie Felismino, 17, Granada High School, Livermore

    Rademann
    Third Place, Grades 9-12: Katey Rademann, 16, Granada High School, Livermore

 

CDFW congratulates all the participants for their excellent work and thanks the teachers, nature centers, volunteer organizations and parents who encouraged, educated and assisted the students.

All submissions are currently on display in the Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center in Gold River. They can also be viewed online at: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-vFHRGZmgqjTkt4NUF5b2tOZEU&usp=sharing.

For more information or to obtain artwork images, please contact the Invasive Species Program at invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

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Media Contacts:
Valerie Cook Fletcher, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 654-4267
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

California Invasive Species Action Week to Put the Spotlight on Habitat Invaders

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will kick off the third annual California Invasive Species Action Week on Saturday, June 4. The goal of Action Week is to promote public awareness of invasive species issues and to encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

CDFW will be partnering with other departments, agencies, organizations and volunteer programs across California to host more than 45 educational and “action” events including invasive species removals, habitat restoration projects, quagga mussel surveys, field outings, public presentations and youth activities. All events are open to the public, although some require registration. A calendar of events planned for around the state can be found at http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/filehandler.ashx?documentid=123891&inline.

The California Invasive Species Action Week webpage (www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week) provides information for individuals wishing to participate independently. For example, people can locate recipes for preparing invasive plants or animals, find out where they can purchase certified “weed-free” project materials or livestock forage, find desirable, native alternatives to certain invasive ornamental plants or learn how to monitor plants and trees for symptoms of infestations or diseases. People can also volunteer to “inspect” local waterbodies for quagga and zebra mussels and submit their findings to CDFW on its website.

The winners of the 2016 Invasive Species Youth Art Contest will also be announced the week of June 5. This year’s theme, “The Invader Files,” generated 49 entries from students in second through 12th grade. Entries will be on display throughout California Invasive Species Action Week at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery Visitor’s Center, 2001 Nimbus Rd., Gold River (95670).

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Valerie Cook Fletcher, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 654-4267
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Boaters Can Help Combat Spread of Invasive Mussels Over Memorial Day Weekend

California agencies combatting the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels remind boaters to remain cautious over Memorial Day weekend.

Quagga and zebra mussels are invasive freshwater mussels native to Eurasia. They multiply quickly, encrust watercraft and infrastructure, alter water quality and the aquatic food web, and ultimately impact native and sport fish communities. These mussels spread from one body of water to another by attaching to watercraft, equipment and nearly anything that has been in an infested waterbody.

Microscopic juveniles, invisible to the naked eye, are spread from infested waterbodies in water entrapped in boat engines, bilges, live-wells and buckets. Quagga mussels have infested 29 reservoirs in Southern California and zebra mussels have infested San Justo Reservoir in San Benito County.

To prevent the spread of these mussels and other aquatic invasive species, people launching vessels at any body of water are subject to watercraft inspections and are strongly encouraged to clean, drain and dry their motorized and non-motorized boats, including personal watercraft, and any equipment that comes into contact with the water before and after recreating.

“Recreational water users play a crucial role in preventing new mussel infestations,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham. “Their awareness, diligence and good stewardship helps to maintain both the ecological and recreational values of our waters.”

To ensure watercraft are clean, drained and dry, many local agencies conduct boat inspections. The CDFW website provides a list of these inspection programs (www.wildlife.ca.gov/mussels), along with additional information about the invasive mussels and what people can do to help prevent their spread in California. Prior to traveling, boaters should contact destination waterbodies directly to check for restrictions and requirements.

Take the following steps both before traveling to and before leaving a waterbody to prevent spreading invasive mussels, improve your inspection experience and safeguard California waterways:

  • CLEAN — inspect exposed surfaces and remove all plants and organisms,
  • DRAIN — all water, including water contained in lower outboard units, live-wells and bait buckets, and
  • DRY — allow the watercraft to thoroughly dry between launches. Watercraft should be kept dry for at least five days in warm weather and up to 30 days in cool weather.

CDFW has developed a brief video demonstrating the ease of implementing the clean, drain and dry prevention method, which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaeAIPLoK-k. In addition, a detailed guide to cleaning vessels of invasive mussels is available on the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) at http://dbw.parks.ca.gov/PDF/CleanGreen/Boating-QuaggaGuide.pdf.

Travelers are also advised to be prepared for inspections at California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Border Protection Stations. Over the past nine years, more than one million watercraft entering California have been inspected at the Border Protection Stations. Inspections, which can also be conducted by CDFW and California State Parks, include a check of boats and personal watercraft, as well as trailers and all onboard items. Contaminated vessels and equipment are subject to decontamination, rejection, quarantine or impoundment.

Quagga and zebra mussels can attach to and damage virtually any submerged surface. They can:

  • Ruin a boat engine by blocking the cooling system and causing it to overheat
  • Jam a boat’s steering equipment, putting occupants and others at risk
  • Require frequent scraping and repainting of boat hulls
  • Colonize all underwater substrates such as boat ramps, docks, lines and other underwater surfaces, causing them to require constant cleaning
  • Impose large expenses to owners

A multi-agency effort that includes CDFW, DBW, CDFA and the California Department of Water Resources has been leading an outreach campaign to alert the public to the quagga and zebra mussel threats. A toll-free hotline, 1 (866) 440-9530, is available for those seeking information on quagga or zebra mussels.

Media Contacts:
Dennis Weber, California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, (916) 651-8724
Dana Michaels, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, (916) 322-2420
Doug Carlson, California Department of Water Resources, (916) 653-5114
Steve Lyle, California Department of Food and Agriculture, (916) 654-0462