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National Invasive Species Awareness Week to Focus on Prevention and Management Strategies

The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) is among a broad coalition of public and private stakeholders gathering in our nation’s capital March 3-8 for National Invasive Species Awareness Week. The agenda will focus on how to best prevent and manage unwanted invaders.

“Invasive species are increasingly degrading wildlands and aquatic habitats, reducing land values and eroding our economic growth,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., director of science policy for the WSSA. “We need to continue to educate policy makers and the public about the need for effective prevention and management.”

As part of the wide-ranging agenda, Jacob Barney, Ph.D., from Virginia Tech will conduct a congressional briefing on behalf of WSSA titled “Invasive Weeds and Bioenergy Crops: Economic Boon or Environmental Disaster?” Barney will present his latest research on the economic benefits and environmental risks associated with using fast-growing, low-input invasive perennial grasses as biofuel feedstocks. The briefing is scheduled for noon on March 7 at the Longworth House Office Building.

Other program highlights include:

  • A two-day meeting of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee to focus on “The Changing Climate of Invasive Species” and to develop recommendations for the National Invasive Species Council.
  • A strategy session on how to improve “state to state” communication and coordination on invasive species issues.
  • A forum on a federal regulatory framework for controlling the movement of invasive species.
  • Interactive educational activities for kids at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

The Sheraton Pentagon City is the host hotel for the event. Presentations and briefings are also scheduled at the Department of Interior, the National Aquarium at the Department of Commerce, and the Rayburn House Office Building.

WSSA has partnered with the National Invasive Species Council to plan National Invasive Species Awareness Week, along with help from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Great Lakes Commission, the Center for Invasive Plant Management, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds, and the Federal Interagency Committee on Invasive Terrestrial Animals and Pathogens, as well as numerous other national, state and local stakeholder groups.

For a complete schedule or to register to attend, visit www.NISAW.org.

About the Weed Science Society of America:
The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Weed Science Society of America promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.wssa.net.