WDFW invites submissions for Invasive Species Awareness Digital Art Project

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(The Center Square) – Washington high school students can win up to $500 from the Department of Fish and Wildlife in a digital art contest featuring invasive species, co-sponsored by the Washington Invasive Species Council.

The purpose of the contest is to raise awareness about plants, animals and other organisms that come from out of state and disturb the natural environment, causing environmental and economic harm.

Alien species often outcompete native plants and animals and are expensive to control.

Examples of invasive species include the Egyptian grasshopper, recently sighted in Everett; the giant Atlas butterfly with a wingspan of up to 10 inches, which was seen at Bellevue in July; the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has decimated ash tree populations in 35 states and was spotted near Vancouver in July; and the European green crabwhich multiplied more than 5,000% in Puget Sound last year, prompting Gov. Jay Inslee in January to order emergency measures to eradicate it.

Winning artwork will be used to decorate a WDFW trailer that will travel the state to raise awareness about non-native species. The trailer will also include photos of WDFW’s invasive mussel-sniffing dogs, Puddles and Fin.

“WDFW and WISC staff travel to many communities to educate people about the dangers of these species spreading from region to region,” WISC executive coordinator Justin Bush said in a statement. “This trailer will allow them to do that more effectively and draw attention to the issue with its eye-catching art.”

The competition is open until December 31. Submissions must be in a digital art format and may include graphic designs, photographs, illustrations, cartoons, digital paintings, or other forms of digital art.

Each submission should include photos or information about one or more non-native species that have been or may be introduced to the area. A list of invasive species is available on the WISC website.

The first place winner will receive a $500 Amazon gift card. A second place winner will receive a $300 Amazon gift card. Other entries will be visible on the WISC and WDFW websites.

Full contest rules are available at WDFW and WISC websites.

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