OLYMPIA – The Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are inviting high school artists to enter an art contest that will help raise awareness not spread of invasive species.
Invasive species are plants, animals and other organisms that do not naturally live in Washington and, when brought here, can cause economic and environmental harm. Invasive species can outcompete native species for food and habitat and can even eat native species. Once established, they can proliferate and be expensive to control, as well as negatively impact the utilities, agriculture and tourism industries.
The winning art from this competition will grace WDFW’s new trailer that travels across Washington and the Northwest to bring attention to invasive species and their spread.
“WDFW and WISC staff travel to many communities to educate people about the dangers of spreading these species from one body of water to another,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of WISC. “This trailer will allow them to do that more effectively and draw attention to the issue with its eye-catching art.”
The art contest now runs until December 31. Submissions must be in a digital art format, such as graphic designs, photographs, illustrations, cartoons, digital paintings and more. Submissions should include photos or information on one or more species that may be or have been introduced to the Area, such as quagga and zebra mussels, European green crabs, Eurasian watermilfoilI, northern pike, New Zealand mud snails and more.
“These are some of the most concerning invasive species that can be introduced or spread, but there are many more,” said Allen Pleus, WDFW Aquatic Invasive Species Unit Manager. “We have worked hard to prevent impacts from these species and are happy to have an additional tool, the trailer, to get our message across to the public.”
Along with having the design turned into trailer packaging, the winner will receive a $500 Amazon gift card. A second place winner will receive a $300 Amazon gift card. Nominations will be posted on the WISC and WDFW websites. For full contest rules, design dimensions and inspiration, visit either the WISC Where WDFW invasive species pages.
For more information on invasive species in Washington, visit the WISC website.