PHOENIX – Did you know that invasive quagga mussels cause millions of dollars in damage to boat motors, docks and water intake systems? Or that unwanted turtles, tortoises, and other pets illegally released into the wild can hurt our native species by introducing disease or outcompeting them for habitat and food?

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is participating in National Invasive Species Awareness Week, which runs through March 3. The nationwide event aims to educate the public about the harmful impact of invasive animals, plants and other organisms. During the week, AZGFD will post information highlighting some of the invasive species in Arizona, and how people can help slow their spread.

“Taking a few minutes to clean your gear, especially footwear, after use is one of the best ways to protect Arizona’s waters and fisheries regardless if you are in an AIS-affected water or not,” said Kate Dukette, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for AZGFD. 

AZGFD and the North American Invasive Species Management Association encourage people to help in the following ways:

“It is everyone’s responsibility to be stewards of the places that we love so we can protect Arizona’s waters for future generations,” Dukette said.

For more information about National Invasive Species Awareness Week, visit

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