Documentary Raises Awareness about Impacts of Invasive Species
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the Monday, Nov. 1 release of the DEC-sponsored documentary, Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species, via YouTube. DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests contracted with the Westfield Production Company to produce this documentary about the significant threat invasive species pose to New York’s biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as public health and the State’s economy.
“Invasive species pose a threat to New York’s environment, economy, and our quality of life. To ensure New Yorkers understand this threat and what we can do to stop the threat of invasive pests, we encourage everyone to watch Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species. The release of this documentary demonstrates New York State’s sustained commitment to educating the public about invasive species and deploying innovative technologies to stop the spread,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Uninvited highlights the danger of invasive species and what we stand to lose without continued efforts to combat these destructive pests.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We thank our partners at DEC for this fantastic documentary, which provides clear, understandable information for the public about the real threats invasive species pose to our environment and to our agricultural industry. A number of invasive species, such as Spotted Lanternfly, can devastate New York crops, resulting in major economic loss. We are proud of the work our team at the Department is doing, in coordination with DEC and other state and federal partners, to combat invasive species. Uninvited spotlights these efforts and the collaborative work being done every day on the ground to ensure we can stop the spread of these harmful pests.”
The film features the collaborative work of DEC and partners, including the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York Natural Heritage Program, Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs), and New York State Invasive Species Research Institute (NYISRI). The documentary also addresses prominent emerging invasive species, such as spotted lanternfly, and lesser-known species of concern like scotch broom, while highlighting New York State’s innovative efforts to combat these pests. The film’s production was provided by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund.
Planning is currently underway to offer viewing parties during the film’s premiere week, Nov. 1 – 7. DEC encourages virtual viewing parties to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Organizations and individuals interested in hosting an event should fill out a registration form (leaves DEC website) to receive a helpful toolkit for organizing a viewing party and have it listed on DEC’s website. Additional information about the documentary and viewing party opportunities can be found on DEC’s invasive species education and outreach webpage.
The State’s EPF has grown from its original appropriation of $31 million in fiscal year 1994-1995 to $300 million. The Fiscal Year 2022 Enacted Budget sustains the EPF at $300 million, the highest level of funding in the program’s history. Appropriations include $40 million for solid waste programs, $90 million for parks and recreation, $151 million for open space programs and $19 million for the climate change mitigation and adaptation program. This investment will provide funding for critical environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.