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Washington state organizations hold art contest to highlight invasive species, how to contain them

The Washington Invasive Species Council and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are asking high school-age artists to create educational designs.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are asking high school-age artists to participate in an art contest that will help spread the word about not spreading invasive species. 

The winning art from this contest will be displayed on WDFW’s new trailer that travels around Washington state and the Northwest to bring attention to invasive species.

They are looking for someone to create educational designs that highlight a few of the top priority invasive species in Washington. There should also be visible actions the public can take to reduce the spread of the species.

The number one species WISC and WDFW are trying to contain are the freshwater Quagga and Zebra mussels. They attach to boats and pipes so they can travel and spread quickly.

The WISC even employs trained rescue dogs to inspect boats by finding mussels attached to them.

Other priority species include European green crabs, Eurasian watermilfoil, northern pike, New Zealand mud snails and more.

Invasive species are plants, animals and other organisms that don’t naturally live in Washington and, when brought here, can cause economic and environmental harm, according to the WISC. Invasive species can outcompete native species for food and habitat and may even eat native species. Once established, they can proliferate and cost a lot of money to control, as well as negatively impact utility, agriculture and tourism industries.

The art contest runs now through Dec. 31. Submissions are required to be in a digital art format, such as graphic designs, photographs, illustrations, cartoons, digital paintings and more. 

In addition to having the design made into a trailer wrap, the winner will receive a $500 Amazon gift card. The second place winner will receive a $300 Amazon gift card.  

To enter the contest, visit the WISC website.

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