Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

July 04, 2011 09:00 ET

Summer "Hit Squad" Is Spreading the Word in Manitoulin

Invasive Species Student Is On the Job Fighting Unwanted Invaders

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 4, 2011) - 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 Manitoulin this summer.

Locally, Connor Steele is an Invasive Species Technician working with the Manitoulin Stewardship Council and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

"The Invading Species Awareness Program enables me to work directly with the community to ensure Manitoulin's precious natural assets are preserved for future generations," says Connor. "We can all make a difference when it comes to preventing the spread of invasive species."

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 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 Connor by emailing connor_steele@ofah.org.

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.

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