Give a listen to how you can help keep our lakes clean this holiday weekend. Zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and of course viral hemorrhagic septicemia are just some of the many exotic threats to Wisconsin's waters.
Bret Shaw, a professor with UW's Department of Life Sciences Communication, came up the idea of combating these threats through song, or more precisely, three songs. "They've been getting a lot of play on the radio and at conferences, and in a variety of different ways," explains Shaw. "We're just hoping it's one more way for people to get the message about halting the spread of aquatic invasive species in the state."
Clean Boats, Clean Waters , for example, encourages boaters to clean their boats thoroughly when they move from one body of water to another, and yes, songwriter James T. Spatz does manage to work VHS into the lyrics. The other songs are The Ballad of Aquatic Invasive Species by Scott Gatzke, a folksy number which also reminds listeners about the importance of cleaning boats when moving them between bodies of water, and One Bait, One Lake , a rock tune from Andrew Isham that 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, which helps prevent VHS from spreading.
Shaw says the songs really highlight the relatively simple steps that boaters can take to help prevent the spread of invasives. "Clean your boat between bodies water, take off the weeds, wash the hull, empty and live well and bilge. And on VHS, if you're using live bait on one lake, don't move it to the next. Pretty simple stuff, and we thought that songs would help communicate this message in a sort of simple, straightforward way."