2017 Theme: Don't Let it Loose!
Invasive species are plants, animals, and microorganisms that are not native to an environment, and once introduced they establish, rapidly reproduce, spread, and cause harm to the environment, economy, and/or human health. One way that invasive species are introduced is by release from pet and aquarium owners. Aquatic plants, reptiles, fish, and other animals that become unwanted or too much to handle are sometimes released into nearby waters and parks. Releasing unwanted pets into the wild is inhumane and can be harmful to the environment, as some species can establish populations, take over habitats, and harm native species.
Help us develop California’s “Don’t Let it Loose!” campaign posters and videos. Send us your illustrations depicting invasive species that might be released by pet/aquarium owners, how their release impacts our natural resources, or what you could do with unwanted pets/plants instead of releasing them.
For more information about the “Don’t Let it Loose!” campaign and invasive species that commonly establish from human release, check out these "Don’t Let it Loose!” websites from the Oregon Invasive Species Council, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia, as well as CDFW’s California’s Invaders page.
All types of media are welcome and encouraged: drawings, paintings, animations, comic strips, videos, public service announcements, campaign posters – send it all!
Entries will be placed into three grade divisions (2 – 4, 5 – 8, 9 – 12) and judged by the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee, which will select the top 3 winners for each division. One contestant will be selected by Department of Fish and Wildlife staff to receive the Invasive Species Program Choice Award. The winners’ artwork will be used to develop California’s “Don’t Let it Loose!” outreach materials.