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Public Awareness Campaigns

Don't Move a Mussel!

Provides selected resources for Public Awareness Campaigns and programs designed to increase public awareness of invasive species issues.

See also:

  • Educator resources for educators helping students learn more about invasive species issues
  • Outreach and Awareness for general information and outreach materials to increase awareness of invasive species issues
  • Students resources for students to learn more about invasive species
  • What You Can Do learn about general volunteer opportunities and ways the average citizen can help to control invasive species

Spotlights

  • Don't Pack a Pest

    • United States Department of Agriculture; DHS. Customs and Border Protection; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; California Department of Food and Agriculture.

    • Don't Pack a Pest's goal is to educate travelers about the risks associated with carrying certain types of food, plants, or other agricultural items in passenger baggage and encouraging travelers to declare agricultural items and Don’t Pack a Pest. This inter-governmental program is working to safeguard food and agriculture in the U.S. and beyond.

  • Habitattitude: Protect Our Environment (U.S.)

    • Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council; DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service; DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    • Habits, Attitude, and Habitat—together they comprise Habitattitude. This educational campaign with the uncommon name addresses common concerns of private enterprise, state and federal natural resource agencies, and responsible pet owners: protecting our environment from the impacts of invasive species. Habitattitude seeks to inspire and empower people to explore the connection between responsible pet ownership and environmental stewardship.

      Habitattitude Prevents Pet Release in Wild  (June 12, 2019) announces the re-launch of the Habitattitude educational campaign. Habitattitude’s website provides guidance for proper pet selection and care, along with sections on aquarium fish and water gardening. The new section on reptiles and amphibians addresses the variety of species and basic considerations and requirements for habitat, diet and health concerns. Another new component focuses on animals and plants in classroom education, and caring for them outside the home environment, in response to concerns about the potential for classroom pets to be released at the end of a school year.

  • Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! - How You Can Help

    • Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers.

    • Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers is an ANS Task Force public awareness campaign intended to educate the public on aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and stop or reduce unintended spread of ANS to new habitat by recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, waterfowl hunting, SCUBA diving or snorkeling, windsurfing, seaplane operations, personal watercraft use, and recreational bait harvesting. This campaign is supported by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
  • Don't Move Firewood - Firewood Hitchhikers Campaign

    • Oregon Invasive Species Council.

    • In 2010, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho launched a tri-state outreach campaign to inform the public about the dangers of moving firewood to Pacific Northwest forests. The campaign, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, closely followed the messaging of the national Don't Move Firewood campaign, which recommends buy firewood that was cut locally, preferably within the county or region of where it will be burned. The tri-state outreach campaign, Buy It Where You Burn It, encouraged good campfire practices with branded posters, billboards, and playing cards located at rest stops and state parks.

  • Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Month

    • Hawaii Invasive Species Council.

    • Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Month (February) seeks to promote information sharing and public engagement in what the Hawaii State Legislature has declared "the single greatest threat to Hawaii's economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people."

  • Washington Invasive Species Awareness Week

    • Washington Invasive Species Council.

    • In conjunction with National Invasive Species Awareness Week, Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed the same week (February 26 - March 3, 2024) as Washington Invasive Species Awareness Week to raise awareness and find preventative solutions for invasive species.

  • Washington Invasive Species Council Campaigns

    • Washington Invasive Species Council.

    • Prevention and early detection of invasive species depends upon the help of the public, industry partners, and policymakers. The council has helped developed tools and regional messaging that have successfully raised public awareness about invasive species, their impacts on native ecosystems, and the steps people can take to prevent the spread of invasive species. Campaigns include:

      • Buy it Where you Burn it
      • Call Before You Haul
      • Clean, Drain, Dry
      • Don’t Let it Loose
      • Don’t Pack a Pest
      • Play, Clean, Go
      • Squeal on Pigs!
Partnership
  • Don't Move Firewood - Highlights: States with Excellent Firewood Outreach

    • Jun 1, 2022
    • Nature Conservancy.

    • Provides great examples of consistency and thoroughness in their outreach on firewood and forest health.

  • Strategies Identified for Successful Outreach to Reduce the Spread of Forest Pests on Firewood

    • Aug 1, 2022
    • Nature Conservancy. Don't Move Firewood.

    • Collaborative study determines effective messengers, language choices, and modes of delivery for disseminating educational information on how firewood choices can impact forest health. A recent study done in collaboration between The Nature Conservancy’s Don’t Move Firewood campaign and researchers from Clemson University showed that most people in the U.S. don’t know firewood can harbor invasive forest insects and diseases, but when targeted education materials are used effectively, they can learn and are likely to change their behavior.

  • Major League Fishing and Wildlife Forever Sign MOU to Prevent Invasive Species

    • Aug 11, 2021
    • Wildlife Forever.

    • Wildlife Forever and Major League Fishing (MLF) announced that the two organizations have signed an important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to combat the spread of invasive species. The new MOU will work to integrate Clean Drain Dry communications and marketing through tournament operations, angler education, and community outreach. Professional anglers are ambassadors for the fishing industry but also key conservationists in working to protect the sport. Integrating the Clean Drain Dry Initiative brand with professional anglers will give them the right tools to prevent spread and inspire their followers and fans to do the same.

  • Aquatic Invaders in the Marketplace (AIM)

    • Aquatic Invaders in the Marketplace.

    • Provides individuals with the information and tools they need to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species commonly found in trade. Water gardeners, aquarium hobbyists, retailers, anglers, teachers, wholesalers and more can use these resources to learn about invasive species and identify alternative organisms that are safe to buy and sell.

  • Be a Hero, Transport Zero

    • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program; Illinois Natural History Survey; Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    • Invasive species – non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that cause harm to natural areas – impact both our economy and the environment. Their environmental impacts can affect outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and birding. You can help prevent these impacts by becoming a hero and joining the more than 90% of outdoor enthusiasts in Illinois who are already fighting the spread of invaders.

  • Be Plant Wise

    • Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat.

    • The Be Plant Wise campaign, launched by Defra and the Scottish Government, is designed to raise awareness among gardeners, pond owners and retailers of the damage caused by invasive aquatic plants and to encourage the public to dispose of these plants correctly. We have developed resources with advice for gardeners and pond owners and are working closely with retailers of aquatic plants to provide information in stores. These pages contain the detailed information you need to Be Plant Wise.

  • Clean Drain Dry Initiative

    • Wildlife Forever.

    • Wildlife Forever has teamed up with more than 2,500 organizations across the nation, including Federal, State, and Canadian organizations, to stop the spread of invasive species with the CLEAN DRAIN DRY Initiative. This national campaign educates outdoor recreational users on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Strategic communications, marketing, outreach and educational services provide access to consistent messaging and resources for local communities to implement prevention programs.

  • Don't Let It Loose

    • Invasive Species Action Network (ISAN).

    • ISAN works with western state governments and independent pet stores to publicize options for pet owners who are no longer able or willing to care for their exotic pets.
      See also: Don't Let It Loose

  • Don't Move Firewood

    • Nature Conservancy.

    • The Don’t Move Firewood campaign is an outreach partnership managed by The Nature Conservancy. The overarching goal of the campaign is to protect trees and forests all across North America from invasive insects and diseases that can travel in or on contaminated firewood. The central tenet of the Don’t Move Firewood campaign is that everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread of invasive tree killing insects and diseases, through making better informed firewood choices. For more information on how you can do your part, please see Frequently Asked Questions.

      • Firewood Month Toolkit -- During Firewood Month (October), reduce firewood movement to slow the spread of forest pests and diseases via the firewood pathway.
      • Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Weed Toolkit -- During Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (May 22-28, 2023) everyone is encouraged to take a few minutes to learn about the signs and symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation on ash trees so that the infestations can be better managed by local tree professionals and foresters.
  • Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz

    • Great Lakes Commission.

    • The Great Lakes AIS "Landing Blitz" is a multi-agency partnership effort and events take place over a two-week period (June 30 - July 9, 2023), emphasizing the need to Clean, Drain, Dry boats whenever they come out of the water, and Dispose of any unwanted bait in the trash. Local volunteers partner with state and provincial agencies to deliver consistent messaging about preventing the introduction and spread of AIS from the movement of watercraft and equipment between water bodies. Information on these events, including educational materials, locations and volunteer opportunities are posted on the Landing Blitz page as they become available.

  • Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign

    • Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign.

  • Invasive Species Action Network

    • Invasive Species Action Network (ISAN).

    • The Invasive Species Action Network (ISAN) is dedicated to reducing the human-caused spread of aquatic invasive species. ISAN provides solutions to invasive species problems by working with the public, private industry and government entities. They focus on scientific research, education and outreach programs as well as policy development.
      See also: Outreach Programs which tackle a variety of demographics, including boaters, anglers, and pet owners. These partnerships leverage strong community ties into action.

  • Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign

    • Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign.

  • National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW)

    • National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

    • National Invasive Species Awareness Week (February 26 - March 3, 2024) is an international event to raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose, and what can be done to prevent their spread. Representatives from local, state, federal, and regional organizations discuss legislation, policies, and improvements that can be made to prevent and manage invasive species via webinars. Across the country, partners hold public events to educate the public and elected officials about how they can help to stop the spread of invasive species. Register for free educational webinars on priority invasive species issues during NISAW.
      See also: 2023 NISAW Recap (February 20-26, 2023) and Past NISAW meetings for summary and archived webinars.

  • Never Dump Your Tank

    • TexasInvasives.org.

    • Dumping anything out of an aquarium—fish, animals, and plants—can have devastating consequences for natural waterbodies. This is true for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Never dump them into a natural body of water or flush them down the toilet.

  • New York Invasive Species Awareness Week

    • New York Invasive Species Information.

    • The mission of the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (June 5-11, 2023) is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the harm they can cause by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state, and empowering them to take action to help stop the spread. This annual education campaign is comprised of various outreach initiatives and events led by partner organizations statewide. Activities include interpretive hikes, invasive plant removal, and restoration projects, displays, webinars, radio and television programming, and more.

  • Pollinator Week

    • Pollinator Partnership.

    • National Pollinator Week (June 19-25, 2023) is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. In 2007, the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

  • Stop the Little Fire Ant

    • StoptheAnt.org.

    • Little fire ants (LFA) may be tiny, but they pack a powerful sting. Native to South America, these speck-sized invaders have hitchhiked across the Pacific, hidden in imported goods, establishing new populations in islands like Hawai'i. Much smaller than the average ant, LFA are about as long as a penny is thick. Little fire ants may have reached our shores, but we can't treat it like "just another ant." LFA are considered one of the World's 100 Worst Invasive Species (IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group), because of their ability to reach very high numbers, to the point where people and animals can't avoid stings. It's up to each of us to Spot The Ant and Stop the Ant. Report little fire ants today.
      See also: October is "Stop the Ant Month": Help Find the Hidden Ants of Hawai'i (Sep 29, 2023)

  • Take Action

    • United Soybean Board.

    • Take Action is a farmer-focused education platform designed to help farmers manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance. The goal is to encourage farmers to adopt management practices that lessen the impacts of resistant pests and preserve current and future crop protection technology.

Federal Government
  • USDA Asks Americans to Protect Plants by Looking for Invasive Pests in April

    • Apr 4, 2023
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is declaring April 2023 Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month (IPPDAM). This national outreach month is dedicated to highlighting the impact of invasive plant pests and diseases on plants nationwide and informing Americans how they can help reduce their spread. IPPDAM aims to raise public awareness about the threat and how U.S. residents can help protect U.S. resources from hungry pests.

  • APHIS Campaign: Asian Longhorned Beetle

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • Public outreach and educational site (former Asianlonghornedbeetle.com site).

  • APHIS Campaign: Defend the Flock Program

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • APHIS offers the Defend the Flock education program to provide the tools and resources you need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to keep your birds healthy and reduce the risk that an infectious disease will spread from your property to other flocks.

  • APHIS Campaign: Hungry Pests

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • When it comes to preventing the spread of invasive pests, every one of us can play a big role. By doing the right things we can all help stop this threat to so much that we value. Please do your part and learn what you can do to "leave Hungry Pests behind."

  • August is Tree Check Month

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • August is the height of summer, and it is also the best time to spot the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) as it starts to emerge from trees. Because the ALB is particularly active this time of year, it can be easier to spot it or the signs of the beetle. Take a 10-minute walk around your yard or neighborhood and inspect your trees. If you see any signs, report ALB.
      View related resource: USDA Asks Public to Help Check Trees for Asian Longhorned Beetle (Jul 31, 2023)

  • Protect Our Pigs: Fight African Swine Fever

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • African swine fever is a deadly pig disease that spreads rapidly and affects domestic and wild swine. While not a threat to human health, the virus could devastate America’s swine, pork industry, and food supply. Whatever pigs mean to you—your livelihood or a pet—we’re all in it together. Protect our swine and keep the disease out of the United States.

State and Local Government
  • Alaska Invasive Species Awareness Week

    • Jun 11, 2023
    • Alaska Office of Governor (Mike Dunleavy).

    • Mike Dunleavy, Governor of the State of Alaska, proclaimed Alaska Invasive Species Awareness Week (June 11–17, 2023), encouraging all Alaskans and visitors to learn about, prevent, report, and contribute to control of invasive species in the state.
      See also: Alaska Invasive Species Awareness Materials (Alaska Invasive Species Partnership)

  • Florida Python Challenge

  • 2023 Aquatic Invasive Species Month

    • Jul 3, 2022
    • Michigan.gov. Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

    • Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Month (July) is an opportunity for Michigan’s government to join forces with businesses, industries, environmental groups, community organizations, residents, and other Great Lakes states and provinces to raise awareness and take action against the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.

  • Amnesty Program

    • State of Hawaii. Plant Industry Division.

    • Hawaii restricts the import and possession of many animals due to the threat to the state’s unique environment and agriculture.  Many animals are not allowed as pets and some require permits. Animals such as snakes, large reptiles, wild predatory mammals, invasive bird species and non-native mammals are illegal in Hawaii.

      The state’s Amnesty Program allows the voluntary surrender of illegal animals. No penalties will be assessed if a person voluntarily turns in a prohibited species before an investigation is initiated. Animals may be dropped off at local humane societies, municipal zoos, or any Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Plant Quarantine Office.
      See also: Importing Animals to Hawaii from the U.S. Mainland (includes information for restricted or prohibited animals)

  • California Biodiveristy Day

    • California Natural Resources Agency.

    • California Biodiversity Day (September 7), marking the anniversary of the launch of the California Biodiversity Initiative in 2018. This annual event celebrates our state’s exceptional biodiversity, while also encouraging actions to protect it.heck out events and see how you can participate.

  • California Invasive Species Action Week

    • California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    • The goals of the California Invasive Species Action Week (June 3-11, 2023),  are to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and promote public participation in the fight against California's invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

      Prevention is the most effective strategy in managing invasive species. However, hundreds of invasive plants and animals have already established in California and are rapidly spreading each year. These invaders are negatively impacting our waters, our native plants and animals (some of them rare, threatened, or endangered), our agriculture, our health, our economy, and our favorite recreational places. Help us celebrate California's Invasive Species Action Week, and more importantly, help stop the spread of invasive species, by volunteering to take action.

      Learn how invasive species are affecting California, with Invasive Species Action Week Lunchtime Talks. Webinars are part of California Invasive Species Action Week, organized by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. Webinars were recorded and available for viewing.

  • Exotic Pet Amnesty Program

    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    • The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program is an effort to reduce the number of nonnative species being released into the wild by pet owners who can no longer care for their pets or no longer wish to keep them. People can surrender exotic pets free of charge with no questions asked. Every attempt will be made to place all healthy animals with experienced exotic pet adopters.

  • Lionfish Challenge

  • Preventing Aquatic Invasive Species through Behavior Change

    • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

    • The Minnesota DNR’s Invasive Species Program has embarked on an exciting project that aims to better promote the adoption of desirable aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention behaviors and create positive social norms supporting AIS prevention in Minnesota.

Academic
  • Reduce Invasive Pet and Plant Escapes (RIPPLE)

    • Michigan State University Extension.

    • The Reduce Invasive Pet and Plant Escapes (RIPPLE) program offers information to aquarium and water gardener professionals, retailers and hobbyists about what to do with unwanted plants and animals so they are not introduced into Michigan's lakes and streams.

Professional
  • Don’t Let It Loose!

    • Invasive Species Centre (Ontario).

    • Owning a pet or an aquarium can be an exciting and fulfilling hobby – but it also comes with responsibility! Domestic pets like fishes, invertebrates, aquatic plants, reptiles, amphibians, or mammals can become invasive when released into natural environments. The best practice in preventing the spread of invasive species is to not let it loose!

  • National Public Lands Day

    • National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).

    • The 30th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is on September 23, 2023! National Public Lands Day was established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. This designated day is traditionally the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort and is focused on resilience and restoration. Volunteers can plant trees and native vegetation, build and refurbish trails, remove trash and invasive plants, repair bridges, restore historic structures, monitor endangered species, and restore habitats. Volunteer and find a NPLD event near you. See also:

  • Play Clean Go: Stop Invasive Species in Your Tracks

    • North American Invasive Species Management Association.

    • The annual PlayCleanGo Awareness Week (June 3-10, 2023) will be held across North America. The goal of the campaign is to show outdoor enthusiasts how they can stop invasive plants and pests from spreading — while enjoying the great outdoors.

      PlayCleanGo is an education and outreach campaign for outdoor recreationalists in North America. The goal is to encourage outdoor recreation while protecting valuable natural resources. The objective is to slow or stop the spread of terrestrial invasive species (those that occur on land) through changes in public behavior. See how you can take action and stop invasive species in your tracks.
      See also: 2023 PlayCleanGo Awareness Week National Press Release [PDF, 63 KB]

  • Play Clean Go: Work.Clean.Go.

    • North American Invasive Species Management Association.

    • As a resource professional (construction, agriculture, horticulture/growers, road crews) you see firsthand what invasive species can do to the landscape, so it is important that you remain vigilant in your own prevention actions. You and the work that you do as an outdoor professional play a crucial role to the success of biodiversity and reducing the spread of invasive species. Learn how you can prevent the spread of invasive species.

  • The Great Chesapeake Invasives Count

    • Coastal Conservation Association Maryland.

    • Report your catch of invasive fish species (northern snakehead, blue catfish, flathead catfish) in the Chesapeake Watershed for a chance to win great prizes! The Great Chesapeake Invasives Count is an annual angling-based effort (April 1-October 31, 2023)  to provide important data to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, USFWS, and other management agencies on what you're seeing on the water. Information related to the number of fish you catch during a given time, as well as the length and weight of the fish you catch is important to fishery managers. It is also vital to investigate the feeding habits of invasive fish to help understand the short and long-term impacts that their existence may cause on native species. It is important that the public recognizes the impacts that these species can have on our natural ecosystems, and does not continue the spread of these fish.

      Monthly drawings for prizes are based on your catches reported. Every invasive you catch-photo-enter (via the iAngler app) earns you a chance of winning.