The fifth annual California Invasive Species Action Week is designed to increase public participation and awareness regarding the efforts and importance of combating the impact invasive species have on the state’s natural resources. Several events organized by multiple organization have been taking place throughout the week and will continue through Sunday, June 10.
Hundreds of different species of invasive plants and animals have already made their way into California and populations continue to increase each year. Preventative measures remain the most effective method for combating invasive species. The California Department of Food and Agriculture frequently collaborates with other state and federal agencies to manage infestations and prevent further invasive species from becoming established in California.
Action Week encourages community members to learn more about what species threaten California and which ones are in their local area. The public can also participate in invasive species removal and restoration projects. Using certified “weed-free” hay, seed, mulch, soil, and gravel can be helpful in combatting invasive species, along with choosing to plant only native and other non-invasive plants in home gardens.
Multiple activities are still scheduled for the remainder of the week. On Friday, June 8 there will be a habitat restoration and invasive plant removal event in Los Angeles Historic State Park, as well as invasive plant removal at the Howe Avenue Section of the American River Parkway in Sacramento. There will also be habitat rehabilitation at Half Moon Bay State Beach in San Mateo and invasive plant removal at Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park in Santa Barbara on Saturday, June 9.
California Invasive Species Action Week was initially started by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Invasive plants and pests can cause significant damage to the state’s water system, agricultural industry, and economy. A study from Cornell University shows that invasive species cause approximately $120 billion worth of damage in the United States every year.