Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

July 15, 2011 09:00 ET

Summer "Hit Squad" is in Mississippi Valley

Invasive Species Student is on the Job Fighting Watershed's Unwanted Invaders

LANARK, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 15, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Invasive species pose a growing threat to Ontario's biodiversity and cause billions of dollars in damage annually. With more invasive species found in Ontario than anywhere else in Canada, it is a good thing that there is someone from the Invading Species Awareness Program (ISAP) working here in the Mississippi Valley watershed this summer.

Locally, Alana Sargeant is an Invasive Species Technician working with Mississippi Valley Conservation and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

"Many people are unaware of the potential threat invasive species present to their local ecosystems, but through the Invasive Species Awareness Program I have access to print materials, displays, a website and a phone Hotline that are helping me to raise awareness about this issue in our community," says Alana.

The OFAH and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources partner to deliver the Invading Species Awareness Program, the largest of its kind in Canada, which uses public education and awareness 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 approximately 20 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. Conservation authorities, stewardship councils and other community groups are also providing assistance.

The public is invited to contact Alana at 613-259-2421 or by email at monitoring@mvc.on.ca.

To report a sighting of an invasive species, or request informational materials, call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or visit www.invadingspecies.com.

To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110714-Lanark800.jpg.

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