ISCBC News Release, June 3, 2013: WILLIAMS LAKE—Invasive species week is here! On June 10th – 17th, show your commitment to BC’s natural areas by getting involved. You can help by learning how to identify invasive species that may be in your own backyard, or that could be hiding in the bilge of your boat. Invasive are easy to report with the Report-A-Weed App, available for iPhone and Android smartphones here: www.reportaweedbc.ca.
The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) works collaboratively with regional invasive plant/species committees across the province that offer a range of fantastic programs for the public to engage to the preventing the spread of invasives. For more information on the region committee in your area, visit www.bcinvasives.ca/general/regional-committees.
This year during Invasive Species Week, check your property for invasive plants, and learn how to help by removing invasives and replacing them with similar native species. To help you make this transition the ISCBC is piloting the PlantWise program this summer, which is being implemented to prevent the further introduction and spread of invasive plants in BC. Invasive plants continue to be sold in many nursery and gardening outlets across BC, and are traded as seeds, transplants or starter plants by gardening and landscaping enthusiasts. Over 58% of invasive plants arrive in Canada as landscape plants, ornamentals, agricultural crops or plants for medicinal and research purposes, and can become so abundant and widespread that they out-compete native plants causing detrimental economic, social, and environmental impacts.
If you want to get out in your boat this summer, make sure you are prepared by learning how to properly Clean, Drain, Dry (CDD) your boat to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives. This summer marks the second year of the CDD program, and staff will be on the ground in five high risk regions in the province – the Fraser Valley, South-Central Okanagan, North-Central Okanagan, the Shuswap, and the Central Kootenays. The Clean, Drain, Dry program aims to engage BC boaters and local communities, providing education to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species by watercraft. The CDD initiative encourages boaters to clean, drain and dry their watercraft and equipment before moving to a new water body. This simple behaviour has the potential to result in huge positive impacts for BC; it can stop current infestations from spreading, and increase the likelihood that no new invasive species will invade our waters. Once an invasive species has colonized, the negative impacts can range from a reduction in natural habitat for wildlife, and limited access to lakes for recreational users due to the hazards posed by invasives.
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The Invasive Species Council of BC is a registered charity working collaboratively to build cooperation and coordination of invasive species management in BC. The ISCBC has grown rapidly since its inception in 2004. It is recognized across the country for its leadership in building collaboration to the challenging and exploding problem of invasive species.
For more information on this topic and invasive species in the province, contact the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC):
(250) 305-1003 or toll free at 1-888-933-3722