Take the test! To educate the public about aquatic nuisance species and how they can be kept out of state waters, staff with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) developed an online certification tool to provide awareness about invasive species found in or near Georgia.
“Aquatic nuisance species, or ANS, threaten many of our waterbodies around the state,” said Jim Page, WRD Aquatic Nuisance Species Program Coordinator. “In an effort to bring this issue to the forefront of the public’s eye, we have created an online certification tool designed to teach participants about various ANS in or near Georgia; provide insight on why these invasive species are a big deal; and give guidance on how the public can help prevent these species from being introduced.”
Invasive aquatic species can cause significant ecological and economic impacts across the state, from damaging vessels and other boating equipment, to impeding access to waterbodies to disrupting the natural ecosystem by displacing and out-competing native species. Ultimately, almost all these impacts are preventable, a message that the online certification training tries to convey.
“Prevention is the best tool we have to protect native species and minimize the impacts of invasive species. However, prevention requires help from everyone, so if you’re reading this, we need your help. This training only takes a few minutes to complete but can have a lasting effect if we allow the information to guide us and our future choices. The choices we make may be the difference in protecting and sustaining our ecosystems for generations to come,” said Page.
Ready to get certified? Access the online ANS Certification Tool at GeorgiaWildlife.com/ans. All individuals who complete the training will receive a certificate of completion, along with some fun outreach materials to enjoy.