Invasive species organizations from Canada, US and Mexico meet in Ottawa October 14-17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 10, 2014 – Williams Lake, BC: Professionals and organizations working in invasive species management from Canada, the United States and Mexico will gather in Ottawa for Weeds Across Borders from October 14-17, 2014, an international conference about preventing and stopping invasive species from spreading. Hosted by the Canadian Council on Invasive Species with the support of an international advisory committee, Weeds Across Borders is a biennial conference that was last held in 2012 in Mexico.

“Invasive species don’t stop at the border, so it is crucial that we collaborate across the continent to prevent and stop invasive plants and other species from creating further economic, environmental and social costs to our countries,” says Gail Wallin, co-chair of the Canadian Council on Invasive Species and Executive Director of the Invasive Species Council of BC. 

Invasive species that damage the agricultural and forestry industries result in an estimated $7.5 billion of lost revenue annually. Through damage to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and other human enterprises, introduced species inflict an enormous economic cost, estimated at $137 billion per year to the US economy alone. Invasive plants impact human health and safety by obstructing sightlines and road signs along transportation corridors, causing skin burns and dermatitis, and increasing allergies. Invasive introduced species pose a greater threat to native biodiversity than pollution, harvest, and disease combined. Of all 1,880 imperiled species in the United States, 49% are endangered because of introduced species. 

Weeds Across Borders will be held at the Delta Ottawa City Centre, 101 Lyon Street in Ottawa. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum for educating, sharing and disseminating knowledge about invasive species management, regulatory issues and concerns about invasive species spread within North America.

Some highlights of the conference include keynote speaker Kelly Church of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Ojibwe, Michigan. Church will discuss how an invasive insect is affecting the cultural tradition of basketry among First Nations in the US and Canada, the impacts to cultural life, and the collaborative steps that are necessary to preserve and sustain this tradition. Other sessions include presentations on meeting the demand for energy alternatives and biomass products by using exotic and invasive species; stopping aquatic hitchhikers; citizen science naturalists; and Biocontrol initiatives. The full agenda is online at

Media are invited to attend the conference sessions on Wednesday, October 16 and Thursday, October 17, and speak with conference participants. For information about obtaining a media pass to Weeds Across Borders, contact

<Notez que une porte parole francophone serra aussi disponible aux médias.>

About the Canadian Council on Invasive Species 
The Canadian Council on Invasive Species works collaboratively across jurisdictional boundaries to support actions and information that can help reduce the threat and impacts of invasive species. Invasive species councils, committees, and coalitions representing the majority of provinces and territories in Canada established this federal society to work together to reduce the impact of invasive species across the country.

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Media contact:

Carla Shore
P: 604-329-0975

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