Principal Investigator: Kate Flemming, University of Delaware
Years Funded: 2019-2021
This project will increase awareness of marine and tidal invasive species across three primary audiences: recreational anglers, Delaware’s general public, and middle and high school students. We will increase recreational anglers’ awareness of and ability to identify, handle, and respond to encounters with three priority invasive fishes in Delaware (i.e. Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), and Northern Snakehead (Channa argus)).Recreational anglers are a primary audience because they are well-positioned to help mitigate the spread of these species. We will achieve this objective through the development and dissemination of durable/waterproof, functional, informational rack cards at fishing clubs in conjunction with conducting presentations at these venues. We will build awareness among Delaware’s general public to understand invasive species impacts in tidal and marine ecosystems, humans’ role as vectors, ways to minimize the spread of invasive species, and how to respond when aquatic invasive species are encountered. We will achieve this objective through the production of “15 Second Science” video clips and a Delaware Sea Grant “Focus on the Coast” event. We will build awareness among middle and high school audiences, to understand invasive species impacts, humans’ role as vectors, and ways to minimize the proliferation of these problematic species through the development of a data-based lesson plan that highlights invasive species as a conservation issue, human behavior as vectors, and promotes stewardship among teachers and students.