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Invasive species pose a threat to Michigan's environment, economy, and sometimes even human health. What is at stake? What is being done? This webinar series will explore how agencies, universities and locally led organizations are working together to protect Michigan's natural resources through the Michigan Invasive Species Program.  If you are concerned about the impacts of invasive species or interested in the techniques used to control them, join us as we examine species-specific actions, innovations in research and technology, and programs designed to help communities prevent and manage harmful invasive species.  A question and answer period will follow each presentation.  

Upcoming Webinars in the Series


January 25, 2022, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Dive into the gene pool: Using environmental DNA to detect invasive species

How can you find an aquatic invasive species that you can't see? You sample the water where it might be and search for its DNA instead! Join Nick Frohnauer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Kim Scribner and John Robinson from Michigan State University to learn about this fascinating technique that researchers are using to detect invasive carp and other aquatic invasive species before they become established in the Great Lakes region.


February 16, 2022, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
The AIS-Team: Conservation officers on a mission to prevent invasive species

Whether it's tracking invasive species imports or making sure boaters "Clean, Drain and Dry," conservation officers play a key role in Michigan's Invasive Species Program. Corporal Nick Torsky of the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division's Great Lakes Enforcement Unit will discuss the unit's role in the battle against aquatic invasive species. Join Corporal Torsky to learn more about enforcement of boating and bait-related regulations, oversight of Michigan's organisms-in-trade, interagency cooperation across the Great Lakes Basin, and some recent investigations that highlight the Department's enforcement efforts.


Recorded webinars in this series:

Woolly bully: A new invasive adelgid to watch for in Michigan (recorded 11/10/2021, 62 min)

Since invasive balsam woolly adelgids (Adelges piceae) arrived in North America in the early 20th century, the tiny insects have killed countless fir trees in the northeast, west and southeast. In August, the invasive insect was detected in Michigan. Since then, the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Natural Resources have been working to protect native balsam firs and popular Fraser and concolor firs, mainstays of the state's Christmas tree industry. Join MDARD's Robert Miller to learn about identification, potential environmental threats and the state's efforts to eradicate balsam woolly adelgid.

Just do it! Learn invasive plant removal skills at stewardship workdays (recorded 10/21/2021, 60 min)

Want some hands-on experience in identifying and managing invasive plants? Michigan's state parks volunteer stewardship workdays provide a great opportunity to get your hands dirty removing invasive species while learning about special habitat areas in need of protection. DNR natural resource stewards Kelsey Dillon and Emily Leslie will share information about the program, how you can get involved and how volunteers and park staff work year-round to preserve your favorite places for future generations.

Fowl play: Protecting Michigan's Wetland Wonders from invasives (recorded 9/15/2021, 61 min)

Important habitats like Michigan's managed waterfowl hunt areas are high priorities for invasive species management. Whether you're a hunter, a bird watcher, or just get egg-cited about ducks and geese, you will be amazed by the techniques used to manage and restore some of Michigan's prime waterfowl areas. Join DNR wildlife biologists Jeremiah Heise and Zach Cooley as they share their experiences managing Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area and Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in Southeast Michigan.

Hey! What's that in your backyard? An introduction to Michigan's Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (recorded 7/27/2021, 54 min)

Wouldn't it be great if there were a local resource you could go to for help with invasive species on your property? Spoiler alert: there is! Michigan is home to 22 Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas, or CISMAs, that are on the front line for prevention, detection, and control of invasive infestations. Katie Grzesiak, Nick Cassel, and Fallon Chabala, representatives from the Michigan Invasive Species Coalition, will discuss what a CISMA is, how they can help with management of invasives on your property, and the benefits of partnering with your local CISMA.


Big, hungry fish: What's being done to prevent invasive bighead, silver and black carp from entering the Great Lakes  (recorded 6/24/2021, 54 min)

Silver carp jumping into boats. Fishing nets full of bighead carp. Could this be the fate of the Great Lakes? Currently, there is no evidence of any live bighead, silver, or black carp, commonly called Asian carp, in the Great Lakes. Michigan continues to play an active role in regional collaboration to protect the Great Lakes from this potential invasion. DNR Senior Water Policy Advisor Tammy Newcomb will explain the threat posed by these invasive fish, current monitoring and surveillance programs, and Michigan's partnership with Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a long-term solution to protect the Great Lakes.


Dynamite! And other tools to protect Michigan's state park trees  (recorded 5/25/2021, 55 min)

For most people, camping and trees go together. Sitting in the shade, watching squirrels run about, and using branches as makeshift clotheslines are all part of the experience. Keeping trees healthy is a critical component of state park management, and staff use a variety of tools (including explosives!) to control invasive insects and diseases. Join us for a blazing good time with Heidi Frei, DNR Parks and Recreation Division forest health specialist, who will share what's affecting our trees and how you can help protect your favorite parks.

Not in MI waters: Responding to watchlist aquatic plants in Michigan (recorded 4/20/2021, 62 min)

What happens when a new invasive plant is found in Michigan waters? That's when a special team of biologists and technicians grab their waders, load their boats and get to work. Find out about the science of early detection and response (EDR), who is involved, and how Michigan's aquatic invasive plant EDR initiative responds to emerging issues in waters across the state. Presenter Bill Keiper, an aquatic biologist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, will share his field experience working with partners to control European frog-bit, parrot feather and other recently introduced aquatic invasive plants. A question and answer period will follow.

Why spotted lanternfly? Assessing the potential threat of invasive species to Michigan (recorded 3/25/2021, 63 min)

Spotted lanternfly was added to Michigan's invasive species watch list in 2018. What makes this colorful insect a threat to our state? What can be done to prevent it? Learn how local and national collaboration helps Michigan's Invasive Species Program determine which species are real threats and then prepare for their potential arrival. Hear from presenter Rob Miller, an invasive species prevention and response specialist for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development who is leading Michigan's spotted lanternfly response.


Ahoy, Boaters! Resources to help prevent the introduction and spread of AIS (recorded 2/16/2021, 64 min)

Recreational boating, paddling and water sports are extremely popular in Michigan, but they also can introduce and spread aquatic invasive species in Michigan's lakes, rivers and streams. Fortunately, the Clean Boats, Clean Waters and MI Paddle Stewards programs are here to help. With free classes, signage, outreach materials and grants, both programs serve as resources for boaters, recreational groups, local communities and property owners working to keep Michigan's waters free from invasive species. Presenters Paige Filice, Natural Resources Educator at Michigan State University Extension, and Mary Bohling, Extension Educator at Michigan Sea Grant, will share resources and information about their programs and answer questions.


Hemlock rescue! Collaborating to stop the spread of hemlock woolly adelgid (recorded 1/22/21, 63 min)

Hemlock woolly adelgid has killed hundreds of thousands of hemlock trees in eastern states, including significant areas in the Appalachian and Great Smoky mountains.  When infestations began spreading in West Michigan, a team of technicians went to work to "hold the line" through rigorous survey and treatment of infested trees in an effort to save Michigan's 170 million eastern hemlocks from the same fate.  Join Drew Rayner, coordinator of the West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, to learn how federal, state and local resources are coming together to save Michigan's hemlock resource, one tree at a time.


Delicious but dangerous: Responding to the Michigan red swamp crayfish invasion (recorded 11/17/20, 63 min)

The newest crayfish invader in Michigan draws a spectrum of opinions. Although many associate red swamp crayfish with crawfish boils, they are also one of the world's most widespread invasive crayfish species and can have a range of negative impacts. Join us to learn about the risks red swamp crayfish pose, the ongoing response efforts in Michigan and the research underway to improve control efforts. Presenters Dr. Lucas Nathan, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Michigan DNR, and Dr. Brian Roth, associate professor at Michigan State University will share their field experience and answer questions.


Responding to the threat of invasive grass carp in Lake Erie: How science focuses action  (recorded 10/22/20, 70 min)

You've probably heard of the invasive bighead and silver carp outside of Chicago, but did you know there's already an invasive carp species in the Great Lakes? Get the real story about grass carp in Lake Erie and the multi-jurisdictional response efforts underway to locate and remove them. We will discuss how fishery biologists make strategic decisions and how they implement those decisions to effectively control grass carp. The speakers for this inaugural webinar are Dr. John Dettmers, director of fisheries management at the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and Dr. Kelly Robinson, assistant professor at Michigan State University.