The Invasive Species Centre and Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre are proud to announce the official opening of a new exhibit exploring the threat of invasive species to Canada’s land and water. The exhibit, housed at the Bushplane Centre, offers exciting and interactive opportunities for visitors of all ages to learn about invasive species!
Invasive species are species that arrive from other places in the world, often accidentally, and cause harm to the environment, the economy, and social well-being. Most notable in the Sault area have been the emerald ash borer, a tiny invasive insect from Asia that killed most of the ash trees on Queen Street and throughout the city. Other local offenders include sea lamprey, a parasitic fish that’s currently being managed in the Great Lakes, and phragmites, an invasive grass that outcompetes native species, taking over habitats that are home to valuable wildlife and obstructing views along highways.
The exhibit showcases several species that have already invaded the Sault area as well as threats on the horizon, such as Asian carps. Highlights include 3D Asian carp replicas, a log damaged by the infamous emerald ash borer, and a tank of live sea lamprey.
“Invasive species spread rapidly and have a ripple effect on communities like Sault Ste. Marie,” says Sarah Rang, Executive Director of the Invasive Species Centre. “In Ontario alone, municipalities and conservation authorities are estimated to spend $50.8 million annually on invasive species prevention and management. Learning about this threat and how to report sightings is a critical way for the community to prevent the spread of these species.”
Local partners gathered Thursday morning to officially launch the new exhibit. “Invasive species pose significant threats to the wilderness and activities we love here in Northern Ontario,” says Dan Ingram, Executive Director of the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. “Our new invasive species exhibit offers the perfect opportunity to learn about the role individuals play in protecting Canada’s environment.”
The exhibit is the result of multi-partner collaboration and thanks also go to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kiwanis Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Works, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Rural Agricultural Innovation Network, Natural Resources Canada, and City of Sault Ste. Marie for their contributions.
To learn more about invasive species visit www.invasivespeciescentre.ca.