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Take action against the threat of invasive species

Clubs can help protect UK waters against non-native creatures and plants.

Invasive Species Week is back (13-17 May), giving clubs the chance to raise awareness of non-native species and help prevent the spread of harmful animals and plants.

Around 2,000 non-native plants and animals from all over the world have been introduced to the UK by people. Water users may unknowingly be spreading them from one water body to another as animals, eggs, larvae and tiny plant fragments can easily be carried on equipment, shoes and clothing. Some can survive out of water in damp conditions for more than two weeks.

Invasive non-native species can block up waterways, make navigation difficult and cause irreparable damage to the environment. Once in a waterway they can disperse rapidly, adversely affecting recreational facilities, reducing fish populations and restricting navigation.

How can I get involved?

Everyone can help to prevent their spread by following the Check Clean Dry routine and by putting up a sign to remind fellow boaters to do the same. Sharing a photo of biosecurity in action on social media under #InvasivesWeek will also help to promote your club.

Since the launch of the Check, Clean, Dry campaign in 2011, The Green Blue has provided a wealth of information and guidance to inland and coastal clubs about the steps to minimise the spread of non-native species.

If you're inspired by the great work going on to prevent invasive non-native species from spreading and reduce the impacts of those which already have, why not get involved?

  • Put up a Check, Clean Dry sign to nudge fellow boaters into action.
  • Share a photo on social media under #InvasivesWeek to promote your club’s activities.
  • Remind your club members that they may be unknowingly helping to spread invasive species from one water body to another.
  • Access the free online training to learn more about non-native species, how to identify them and how you can prevent them from spreading
  • Become a Check, Clean, Dry champion and contact The Green Blue for free materials you can share with other members of your club to raise awareness.

Facts and figures

  • There has been a dramatic increase in the number of species arriving in recent years and there is no indication of this trend slowing.
  • Most non-native species are harmless but around 10-15% have become invasive and have a negative impact on our environment, economy, and even our health and way of life.
  • INNS have contributed to 40% of the animal extinctions that have occurred in the last 400 years.
  • They cost the UK economy at least £1.8 billion a year.

For more information, visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk. Follow the campaign on Twitter @CheckCleanDry and @TheGreenBlue #InvasivesWeek

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