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GLIN==> Invasive Species Decal

Michigan's waters are under assault from invasive aquatic plants and animals.  With over 160 species currently established in the Great Lakes, protecting Michigan and Great Lakes waters is important for the overall enjoyment of the resource.  An aquatic invasive species (AIS) is a waterborne, non-native organism that threatens the diversity or abundance of native plants and animals in a new ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health.  The Michigan legislature introduced legislation in 2003 to help provide voluntary financial support for AIS research, control and education efforts.  In 2004 Governor Granholm signed into law bills that established the Great Lakes Protection Specialty Watercraft Decal (PA 294 of 2003).  The new Great Lakes Specialty decal is available for sale through the Michigan Mall website for $35 at www.michigan.gov/michiganmall.  In the spring of 2005, the decal can be ordered at Secretary of State Offices and order forms will be sent with watercraft registration renewals.  From the proceeds, $25 is deposited in the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund (MGLPF) which is administered by the Office of the Great Lakes.  Proceeds from the purchase of the decal support research on aquatic invasive species such as the zebra mussel, public education on the threat of those species, and efforts to eradicate them from the Great Lakes and other waters of the state. A minimum of 2000 decals must be sold by September 2005 in order for the program to continue and at least 500 per year each subsequent year.  The decal is intended to be decorative and can be placed on trailers, cars, trucks, and other vehicles.  The Great Lakes Specialty decal is a voluntary program; it does not replace the required watercraft registration and is not tax deductible.  Visit www.michigan.gov/michiganestore to purchase the decal and www.michigan.gov/deqaquaticinvasives to find out more information about aquatic invasive species.

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