HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's boating staff will be educating boaters about how to stop the spread of invasive aquatic species.

Agency staff will be on hand at six boat launches Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., as part of Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Weekend. They'll talk to boaters about clean and safe boating practices while conducting inspections for aquatic invasive species.

Many aquatic invasive plants can grow quickly and out-compete other species. They form dense mats under the water's surface, which can be hazardous to recreational boaters and swimmers.

Also, DEEP warns that invasive zebra mussels have already colonized several lakes and ponds in western Connecticut.

DEEP staff will be at boat launches in Danbury, New Fairfield, Southbury, Bridgewater, Winchester and Coventry.