Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

June 18, 2014 11:45 ET

Local "Hit Squad" Students Fighting Invasive Species in Port Hope and Trenton

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 18, 2014) - Invasive species pose a growing threat to Ontario's biodiversity and cause millions of dollars in damage annually. There are more invasive species in Ontario than anywhere else in Canada, so it is a good thing the Invading Species Awareness Program (ISAP) Hit Squad is working across the province again this summer to spread awareness about the impacts invasive species are having on our environment, economy, and society. One Hit Squad member will be located in Ganaraska region this summer and another in Trenton.

Locally, Amber Hawkins is an Invasive Species Community Outreach Liaison working with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH). Christine Brennan is an Invasive Species Community Outreach Liaison working with Lower Trent Conservation and OFAH.

"I am looking forward to monitoring for terrestrial invasive species this summer and reporting them to EDDMapS Ontario," Hawkins says. "EDDMapS Ontario is a great way for the public to view or report invasive species sightings in Ontario."

"Public awareness is essential in the prevention of invasive species introduction or spread," Brennan says. "I encourage the public to visit EDDMapS.org/Ontario to learn more about invasive species in their area, view their distribution, or submit potential sighting reports."

The OFAH partners with the Ministry of Natural Resources to deliver the Invading Species Awareness Program. This program uses public education to prevent the introduction of new invasive species, and to stop the spread of those already here.

Over the course of the summer, the Invasive Species Hit Squad, comprised of about 25 summer students, will monitor more than 200 local lakes, waterways and forests, looking for zebra mussels, spiny water flea, round goby, giant hogweed, garlic mustard, and other invaders. They will also contribute to a variety of efforts to control the spread of these invaders. Funding is being provided by the federal government's Canada Summer Jobs program.

To report a sighting of an invasive species, or request information materials, call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, visit www.invadingspecies.com or EDDMapS.org/Ontario. You can follow the Hit Squad progress on Twitter @invspecies or @ofah.

The public is invited to contact Amber Hawkins at amber_hawkins@ofah.org and Christine Brennan at christine.brennan@ltc.on.ca. To arrange a media interview, please contact the OFAH Manager of Communications. A high-resolution photo of the student is available upon request.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Galen Eagle, Manager of Communications
    705-748-6324 ext. 270