Invasive Species 4-H Youth Workshops set for Saginaw Bay area

Middle and high school youth can make a difference by helping to map, remove species.

June 15, 2018 - Author: Meaghan Gass, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Extension

European frogbit is one of the invasive species that will be targeted during the 4-H youth workshop.
European frogbit is one of the invasive species that will be targeted during the 4-H youth workshop.

Michigan State University Extension is seeking middle and high school youth to help protect Saginaw Bay by mapping where invasive species exist — and removing them.

Aquatic invasive species can change our favorite habitats in big and small ways.
They can crowd out native plants, make it harder for birds and amphibians to find food or lay eggs, and keep boats from moving through the water. Knowing what these species look like and proper ways to remove and dispose of them is something each of us can do to protect the Great Lakes.

Invasive species in Saginaw Bay area

Supported by Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, 4-H, Saginaw Bay CISMA, Arenac County, Bay County, Huron County, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and volunteers, these workshops are a great way for youth to learn more about invasive species and help their community.

European frogbit, for instance, is an invasive species impacting Saginaw Bay. This aquatic plant grows in thick mats floating at the surface of the water, and these mats can impact recreation and limit habitat for other animals like waterfowl and fish. Resembling a small, heart-shaped lily pad, this aquatic invader can be easily removed by hand, and found at the Bay City State Park, this invader is the target species of the Invasive Species 4-H Youth Workshop in Bay County. Additionally, the Midwest Invasive Species Network is a regional effort supporting early detection and response resources for invasive species. Led by researchers from Michigan State University and a variety of partners, this database provides an opportunity for community members to collect observations and map local invasive species. To provide information on invasive species in Arenac and Huron county parks, camp participants will work with community partners to identify and map different invasive species. 

Three opportunities

With three different workshops planned, attendees can sign up for one workshop or all three.  Workshops are open to middle and high school students. Registration fee is $5 per workshop and includes lunch. 4-H membership is not required to participate in the workshops.

  • JUNE 25
    10 a.m.-3 p.m. (register by June 21)
    Help map invasive species at Arenac County Point Au Gres Park.
  • JULY 12
    10 a.m.-3 p.m. (register by July 5)
    Help remove European frog-bit at Bay City State Recreational Area.
  • AUGUST 9
    10 a.m.-3 p.m. (register by August 2)
    Help map invasive species at Sebawaing County Park.

Register online, and help protect the Great Lakes through this important environmental action.

For more information contact Meaghan Gass, gassmeag@msu.edu, (989) 895-4026 ext. 5.

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

Tags: community service & service learning, environmental & outdoor education, fisheries & wildlife, invasive species, lakes, michigan sea grant, msu extension, natural resources, science & engineering, streams & watersheds


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