WATERSMEET.—The ISCCW (Invasive Species Control Coalition of Watersmeet), also known as Lakeguards, was established in September 2007.
Its mission is to assure that waterways and lands in Watersmeet Township, state of Michigan, are environmentally sound, free of invasive species and suitable for a variety of recreational uses for the benefit of residents of the community at large.
A sub-committee within the ISCCW focuses on educating, eradicating and preventing the spread of invasive species.
This committee, called Public Relations/Education, has focused on raising public awareness about invasive aquatic species and their impact on inland lakes.
The committee’s charge has been to raise public awareness concerning the negative impact of invasivses on waterways and lands in Watersmeet Township and assist in keeping the environments sound, free of invasive species and suitable for a variety of recreational, aesthetic and commercial uses for the benefit.
For the past six years the PR/Education committee, in conjunction with the entire ISCCW initiative, the goal has been to “get the word out”; people must be made aware of how each individual has a responsibility in preserving the environment.
Some of the committee projects included:
--Establishing a website for the organization that would provide useful information in dealing with the invasive problems and the efforts being made by Lakeguards
--Using the media to help spread the word about invasive species and about efforts being made to address the problems.
--Setting up signage at boat landings to inform the public of the problems and the responsibility that each person must take in preserving the environment
--Distributing brochures, bookmarks, photos, key chains to boaters to raise awareness of invasive species.
--Running training sessions to enable volunteers to monitor lakes for invasive species.
--Alerting the public about the availability of ISCCW boat washing
--Participating in local community activities such as parades, picnics, lake association meetings and other public gatherings to increase awareness
During the summer of 2012 the above projects will be continued.
New this year will be the distribution of floating key caddies for fishing boats that contain information about infested lakes in the township, preparing an educational video concerning invasive species, and coordinating efforts with various lake associations.