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Loggerhead Marinelife Center holds Invasive Species Awareness Day

Invasive Species_webPulling weeds is like pulling teeth. Sometimes, you just have to do it. So when it comes to pulling weeds that really shouldn’t be there, Loggerhead Marinelife Center had the perfect reason to do it.

LMC recently hosted a free Invasive Species Awareness Day event to educate the community about the impact of invasive species on Florida’s ecosystems.

“The idea behind Invasive Species Awareness Day is to help recognize the danger of exotic pet trade and to prevent accidental introductions of non-native species into otherwise natural ecosystems,” said Hannah Campbell, environmental programs manager.

Guest speakers from U.S. Fish & Wildlife and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) teamed up with LMC’s staff, offering events including an invasive plant removal project, lionfish demonstrations, a Burmese python presentation and more. In a united effort to educate guests about how they can help keep Florida native so we can ensure that indigenous plants and animals can have a fair chance at survival.”

“It was incredible to see hundreds of guests dedicate a part of their free time to learn about why marine conservation is important,” said Campbell. “Teaming up with other like-minded organizations like U.S. Fish and Wildlife and FWC to educate guests on the threats of the exotic pet trade and non-native landscaping felt like a united front.”

LMC also recently “adopted” the natural area in Loggerhead Park behind the Center, and is charged with monitoring the area and conducting quarterly invasive plant removals.

“I think [the event] really reminded us that we are all on the same path to protect our environment and share how every individual can help that mission.” said Campbell.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week was Feb. 27 through March 3 this year.