The Invasive Species Centre, in partnership with the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, is receiving $339,200 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in order to establish early detection and rapid response networks for invasive plant and insect species in four pilot areas across Ontario, announced David Orazietti, MPP.
“Our government is committed to fighting the threat of invasive species and has demonstrated this with the introduction of the Invasive Species Act and our continued funding and support of projects which target invasive species,” said Orazietti. “This grant will enable staff at the Invasive Species Centre and the Ontario Invasive Plant Council to co-operatively develop Early Detection and Rapid Response initiatives that will help to protect Ontario’s ecosystems.”
Volunteer networks consisting of environmental professionals, conservation groups, farmers, woodlot owners, educators, students, and interested community members will be established in four areas in Northern and Southern Ontario and specifically in Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Halton Region and Region of Peel. These groups will receive training on how to respond to and control priority species, as well as receive hands-on experience handling invasive species removal.
“The Invasive Species Centre is excited to work with the Ontario Invasive Plant Council on this project to support Ontario in its mission to build an effective communication network with municipalities, conservation authorities, Aboriginal communities, NGOS, and other key stakeholders to fight the introduction and spread of invasive species,” said Dilhari Fernando, Executive Director of the Invasive
Species Centre. “The Early Detection Rapid Response Network project will build capacity among community members to become engaged, trained and empowered in invasive species prevention and control. This work will increase awareness of invasive species among citizens, improve knowledge transfer from experts to community volunteers, and support hands-on work to more rapidly detect and reduce invasive species in our province.”
The Invasive Species Centre was officially opened in March 2011. The Centre is dedicated to combating invasive species that threaten Canada’s natural resources and ecosystems. The government of Ontario committed $15 million toward the invasive species initiatives, which included:
$5.29 million to support innovate projects and annual operation costs of the Invasive Species Centre
$3.83 million towards the research centre laboratories and offices
$800,000 for an invasive species research chair at Algoma University
A leading grant maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation builds healthy and vibrant communities and has invested over $7 million since 2003 to support numerous organizations in Sault Ste. Marie. www.trilliumfoundation.org
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