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Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species: 
Music with a Message

Research shows music can influence how people respond to messages, influencing memory and recall, emotion, information processing, attitudes, and even behavior. To explore how music can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, Environmental Communication Specialist for the University of Wisconsin Extension and Assistant Professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication, Bret Shaw, worked with a group of singer/songwriters to produce these songs to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in Wisconsin and beyond. 

These songs have been vetted by natural resource professionals to assure they are scientifically accurate and recommendations are consistent with current laws in Wisconsin. Listen to these songs and share with others to promote simple behaviors that can protect the quality of lakes and rivers for future generations.

radio_button Song: Clean Boats, Clean Waters
Singer/Songwriter:
James T. Spartz

Description: This rockabilly-inspired country song offers some straight-forward advice for protecting the future of our lakes - it's easy - just clean your boat when moving from one body of water to another.
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Song: One Bait, One Lake
Singer/Songwriter: Andrew Isham

Description: This rock tune proclaims the importance of not moving bait minnows from one lake to another if water has already been added from the first lake to the minnow bucket. This simple act helps prevent VHS fish disease (viral hemorrhagic septicemia) from spreading from an infected to a non-infected lake.

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Song: The Ballad of Aquatic Invasive Species
Singer/Songwriter: Scott Gatzke

Description: This folk song reminds listeners about the importance of cleaning boats when moving them between bodies of water to keep waters pure and clean.

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For questions about this project, please contact Bret Shaw, UW Extension Environmental Communication Specialist at: brshaw@wisc.edu. Visit the Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species: Music with a Message website for song lyrics and songwriter profiles. 

In Your Words...

  • “Parks Canada and Canadians have benefited from the partnership to have on-the-ground Hot Spots crews, and we would be happy to work with a crew in the future at one of our many national parks and national historic sites that are in need of invasive plant management.”

    Brian Reader, Species at Risk Manager, Parks Canada

  • “Our crew has finished their work at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site and Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. I want to thank you, on behalf of Parks Canada, for providing the crew to us. They were well-trained and got a lot of important restoration work done in our nationally-important heritage areas.”

    Brian Reader, Species at Risk Manager, Parks Canada

  • “I am impressed with the coverage of the GIS mapping data now available. I will be developing an Invasive Species Management Plan for Pacific Spirit over the next several years and these maps will help as a coarse indication of current conditions, and in guiding initial inventory and monitoring efforts.”

    Markus Merkens, Pacific Spirit Park area manager, Metro Vancouver

  • “Thank you for orchestrating access to the Hot Spots crew for GINPR.  This crew allowed us to move the restoration project on Princess Margaret ahead by months if not by years.”

    Wayne Bourque, Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Parks Canada

  • "We had a great hike at Kenna Cartwright Park. The kids built a snowman and we all enjoyed the views. The outreach worker showed us some plants that don't belong in the park, gave us info about them and what to do about them, and gave us all some cool gifts from the Invasive Plant Council. Thank you!"

    Susan Hammond, Kamloops Young Naturalist Club

  • “Working with the Hot Spots crew in Saanich in 2010, we practiced different methods to treat knotweed with glyphosate using the injection gun on several sites. With these skills I was able to implement Saanich's first knotweed eradication pesticide treatment program for private properties.”

    Donna Wong, Environmental Stewardship Officer, District of Saanich

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