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May 20, 2014

CHICAGO - A tri-state public service announcement is just the latest example of Wisconsin teaming up with neighboring states to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

While Wisconsin continues to work with its partners at home to meet the challenges of aquatic invasive species in its inland waters, the state is forging ahead with new regional efforts aimed at pooling resources and efforts to better and more efficiently protect the Great Lakes from new invaders, state environmental officials say. In turn, those efforts will better protect inland waters as well.

"Stopping aquatic invasive species is all about shutting down pathways and it must be a focus for our nation, the Great Lakes region and Wisconsin," says Department of Natural Resources Water Administrator Russ Rasmussen. "This is something we can all unite behind. Together, we can work smarter, more efficiently, and more effectively to achieve our common goals."

Examples of such recent regional collaboration include:

Wisconsin has for decades been working with states and federal agencies involved in managing the Mississippi River and Great Lakes to address aquatic invasive species, including keeping Asian carp from getting established in the Upper Mississippi River and in the Great Lakes. The two basins are artificially connected through the Chicago waterway system.

The new regional efforts are aimed at protecting these regionally important waters from Asian carp and other new invasive species and by default, will better protect states' inland waters as well, says Bob Wakeman, DNR's aquatic invasive species coordinator.

Since the 1800s, more than 180 aquatic invasive species have been documented in the Great Lakes, and 30 of those species have been spread to Wisconsin inland waters. Wisconsin research has shown that boaters are the primary way that aquatic invasive species spread from one water to another.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Wakeman, DNR, 262-719-0740

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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