2014 is the Year of the Horse in the Chinese calendar. People born in years of the Horse are characterized as excellent communicators, cheerful, talented and ones who cannot abide failure. All of those features were on display during the July 4 weekend, when DNR and partner organizations mounted the sixth annual Landing Blitz.
The Blitz celebrated the work of the Clean Boats Clean Waters volunteers who gallop to their local boat launches each season and pony up their time and talent to corral the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). This year’s Landing Blitz spanned the days of July 3–6 when more boaters traditionally stampede to boat landings than any other time of the year.
At the launches, CBCW volunteers branded into boaters’ minds the need to follow the AIS prevention steps: Inspect, Clean, Drain and Never Move. In addition, DNR provided participants with free hand towels for boaters found practicing these prevention steps.
In addition to the important educational efforts and boat inspections, some Landing Blitz events included free food and boat washings to rope the attention of boaters. Rollie Johnson, president of Big Moon Lake Association reported, “We had a great turn out and served 160 brats!” All these efforts garnered attention from print and television media.
In addition, state politicians took notice. A 2014 Conservation Legislator of the Year, State Representative Jeff Mursau, co-chair of the Assembly committee on Environment and Forestry and member of the Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage committee, attended a Landing Blitz event at Berry Lake in Oconto and Menominee Counties. Mursau enthused, “I had a great time seeing the good people and interesting sites in Berry Lake and promoting clean lakes in Wisconsin.” Meanwhile, State Senate candidate Martha Laning attended the Landing Blitz at the Deland boat landing in Sheboygan harbor.
This year, neighboring Michigan, who has been watching the mounting success of Wisconsin’s Landing Blitz, rounded-up participants for their first Landing Blitz. Like DNR, Michigan recognizes that keeping AIS from getting out of the gate is more effective than racing to control them once in a lake or river. We hope other neighboring states hitch onto the Landing Blitz to bring the spread of AIS from a canter to a walk to a halt.
To see who participated in this year’s Landing Blitz and their impressive results on DNR’s website, click here.
Entry written by Michael S. Putnam – Water Resources Management Specialist