FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 1, 2015 – Williams Lake: To get British Columbians active in preventing and stopping the spread of harmful invasive species in our province, the BC government has officially declared the entire month of June as Invasive Species Action Month. Invasive species threaten BC’s environment, economy and society, including human health, but stopping invasive species is possible if we take action now to prevent, detect and manage invasive species.
“Stopping invasive species is possible if we change our behaviours and take action together,” says Gail Wallin, Executive Director of the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC). “Increased prevention, detection and improved management of invasive species can provide significant economic benefits to the province, businesses, industry, and citizens. We are highlighting actions everyone can take each week this month, with easy things you can do to stop invasive species from spreading in the water, in plants and agriculture, through firewood, through sports equipment, and by keeping unwanted pets out of the wild.”
To promote Invasive Species Action Month, a new website has been set up at www.bcinvasivesmonth.ca, and the public is encouraged to post to social media using the hashtag #ActionOnInvasivesBC. British Columbians will find information about how to prevent and stop the spread of invasive species in their gardens, parks and forests, through sporting and camping activities, in lakes, rivers and oceans, and in their cities, towns and across the province. There are links to events and activities being held by the Invasive Species Council of BC, regional invasive species committees, local governments and stewardship organizations across BC.
Each week of Invasive Species Action Month, ISCBC will highlight specific areas where British Columbians can take action. The first week launches a new campaign, Don’t Let It Loose!, will educate about the harm of releasing unwanted pets and aquarium plants into the wild. The second week will focus on PlantWise, educating gardeners and those in agriculture, ranching and horticulture about preventing and stopping the spread of invasive plants in BC. The third week is focused on aquatic invasive species, with special campaigns around Clean Drain Dry to encourage boaters to take responsible actions to prevent the spread of invasive mussels and aquatic plants. The fourth week will focus on outdoor recreation, reaching out to campers and outdoor sports enthusiasts to remind them to Burn it Where you Buy it for firewood and Play Clean Go to remove debris from outdoor equipment to prevent spreading invasives.
Many of the events during Invasive Species Week will allow citizens to participate in hands on and concrete actions, such as field days, weed pulls, native plant restoration sessions, garden tours, and meeting with invasive species groups at farmers markets around BC. ISCBC is also offering webinars and new resources for educators and the public. A full calendar is available at www.bcinvasivesmonth.ca, where an invasive species will be profiled every workday during the month.
“With the warm summer season just around the corner, June is the perfect time for British Columbians to take action on invasive species,” adds Wallin. “Get involved in learning how to prevent invasive species from taking hold, and how to keep them from damaging British Columbia’s environment, economy and our society.”
About the Invasive Species Council of BC
The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) has been working to minimize the negative ecological, social, and economic impacts caused by the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species for more than 10 years. Their goals are to: educate the public and professionals about invasive species and their risks to ecosystems and economies through activities such as workshops, seminars and newsletters; coordinate and fund research relating to invasive species and make this available to the public; and undertake and support actions that improve the health of BC’s natural ecosystems.
P: (250) 305-9161