Helping to prevent the spread of invasive species provides a wonderful variety of opportunities. Volunteering includes lots of fun stuff, from learning to identify invaders, mapping species, educating others about invasive species, growing bio-control beetles, to eliminating the invasive species in our area. If you are interested in helping lead the charge against invasive species, email Jeni Klein.
View a list of some of the opportunities available.
Clean Boats, Clean Waters
With the growing problem of the spread of aquatic invasive species between Wisconsin's lakes, many concerned citizens are looking for ways to get involved. The Clean Boats, Clean Waters volunteer watercraft inspection program is an opportunity to be on the front line of defense against the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Through the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, volunteers are trained to educate boaters on how and where invasive species are most likely to hitch a ride into water bodies. With the new invasive species laws that went in to effect in 2009, it is especially important that we educate our boaters about the new rules. Volunteers also perform boat and trailer checks for invasive species, distribute informational brochures and collect and report any new water body infestations. It's a great way to spend a few hours at a lake on a nice summer day. Come and join us! For additional information on this program, visit the University of Wisconsin website.
To become a local volunteer, email Jeni Klein.
Citizen Lake Monitoring Network
The Citizen Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN) goals are to collect high-quality data, educate and empower volunteers, and share this data and knowledge. Some volunteers can like to measure water clarity and collect chemistry, temperature, and dissolved oxygen data. Other volunteers prefer to identify and map native plants and identify and map invasive species.
Woodland Dunes Nature Center staff and the aquatic invasive species coordinators for Calumet and Manitowoc Counties provide volunteers with the necessary equipment and training. Volunteers provide their time, expertise, energy and a willingness to share information with their lake association or other lake users. The information gathered by the volunteers is used by DNR lake biologists, fisheries experts, and water regulation and zoning staff, as well as by UW-Extension, lake associations and other interested individuals. For additional information on Lake Monitoring, visit the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network website.
River Alliance of WI, Project RED
Project RED stands for "Riverine Early Detectors". Much like the CLMN program for our lakes, Project RED focuses the attention on our rivers. Wisconsin's rivers are also vulnerable to invasion by invasive species, from Eurasian water milfoil to Japanese knotweed and beyond. Volunteers learn how to detect invasives early, while eradication or containment is still possible. Early detection is the best protection for our waterways, and volunteers are invaluable.
Project RED provides you with the necessary tools to be a Riverine Early Detector. The work is easy and fun. You can use this activity to become more familiar with your river or stream and to engage your friends and neighbors. During a free training we will teach you to monitor your river by canoe, kayak, or on foot. We will help you choose locations and a monitoring schedule that are convenient. We will also provide you with online data management tools to help you report and map your findings. If you identify an invasive in your riparian corridor, we can also help you take the next step of eradication or containment!
Project RED is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the National Institute for Invasive Species Science and the River Alliance of Wisconsin.
Volunteer of the Year 2013
Ron Richter and his wife, Linda, started a project to control purple loosestrife in Calumet County in 2000. In subsequent years, Ron recruited Calumet County Master Gardeners, the Brillion Nature Center and many volunteers in a bio-control project for the control of purple loosestrife. Ron has raised hundreds of thousands of beetles and distributed them throughout the region. Ron remains committed to stopping the spread of purple loosestrife in Calumet County. As a result of this work, Ron received an Invader Crusader award from the State of Wisconsin. A great acknowledgment for fantastic work.
Thanks, Ron, for the great work you continue to do!