(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — State officials gathered to celebrate Pennsylvania’s native species on June 17.

Governor Tom Wolf proclaimed June 17 as Pennsylvania’s Native Species Day. The big day is the brainchild of the Governor’s Invasive Species Council — a collective of 21 state agencies and organizations in academia, environmental advocacy, agriculture and other industries.

The proclamation was issued at the Fish and Boat Commission headquarters.

“Municipal and state officials, business owners, community organizations, and local residents are realizing the need to conserve this essential part of Pennsylvania’s natural infrastructure,” said Tim Schaeffer, executive director of the Fish and Boat Commission. “We are thrilled to join these partners in highlighting the work on our property that reduced erosion and restored natural stream flow while keeping native species in mind. Along with the 4,00 native plants and trees that have been added to the landscape, other habitat improvements will benefit native aquatic species and wildlife.”

According to a joint news release from the departments of Environmental Protection, Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, Health, and Transportation, as well as the Fish and Boat and Game commissions, the survival of many native species is under pressure from the proliferation of nonnative species that has occurred as global commerce and travel have increased. The spotted lantern fly is a recent example, as is the sea lamprey, emerald ash borer, quagga mussels, hydrilla and other nonnative species that have spread throughout the commonwealth with detrimental impacts.

Some of the agencies highlighted their efforts to support native species in the news release. The GISC has developed a program called “partnerships for regional invasive species management.” The program currently is unfunded, but it would establish six regional independent public-private partnerships to address invasive species.

State Parks and other organizations throughout the commonwealth were celebrating the inaugural Native Species Day with special events.