NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP–Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species was the focus of an event hosted on Friday at a boat launch in Negaunee Township.

Landing Blitz 2017, hosted by Upper Peninsula Power Company and the Central Upper Peninsula Cooperative Weed Management Area, presented boaters and recreation enthusiasts with information such as proper boat cleaning, draining and drying techniques, in order to slow the spread of invasive species. UPPCO Chief Executive Officer James Larsen said while there isn’t a problem now; furthering education and awareness is necessary to prevent future issues.

“Obviously, really the boaters are the ones we are targeting today which is why we’re here at the boat launch but obviously it can affect everybody if you did have a spread on invasive species,” Larsen said. ‘It can really do long-term effects on the lake and effect property values, effect equipment operations and could affect equipment also at our hydro facilities.”

The event is one out of several that are being held at boat landings across Michigan as part of Michigan’s annual Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.