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May 5-11, 2024, is Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness Week in North Dakota. The week is aimed at raising awareness about aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and the importance of preventing their spread in North Dakota waterways. 


As the popularity of water-based recreational activities continues to grow, so does the risk of introducing invasive species into aquatic ecosystems. ANS has been limited in North Dakota. Despite this, there has been a growing number of ANS infested waters in the past decade. ANS, such as zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, and Asian carp, pose serious threats to native aquatic plants and animals, disrupt ecosystems, and have the potential to negatively impact popular tourist activities like fishing and boating. These activities are vital to the tourism industry in the state.    


The Tourism & Marketing Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce (North Dakota Tourism) recognizes the crucial role it plays in protecting the natural resources that attract visitors to our state. During Aquatic Nuisance Species Awareness Week, North Dakota Tourism aims to educate tourists and local communities about the importance of taking simple steps to prevent the spread of ANS.  


North Dakota Tourism is the states lead destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting North Dakota as a premier travel destination. They promote responsible tourism practices and educate the public on sustainable travel to preserve and protect the natural areas and cultural heritage of the state for future generations. 


"We are committed to preserving the ecological integrity of our waterways and ensuring that future generations can enjoy them as much as we do today," said Commerce Tourism Outdoor Recreation Manager Mike Jensen. "By raising awareness about aquatic nuisance species and promoting prevention measures, we can all play a part in protecting our precious natural resources." 


North Dakota Tourism encourages visitors and residents alike to learn more about aquatic nuisance species. By following three simple steps of clean, drain, and dry all equipment, every time you use it at the recreation area where you used it, watercraft users and anglers can help prevent the spread of ANS. 


For more information about traveling sustainably and responsibly in North Dakota, go to https://www.ndtourism.com/sustainability 


For more information about what North Dakota is doing to protect waters from ANS, go to   


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