Invasive species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. Every year the province of BC declares the month of May as Invasive Species Action Month recognizing the impact on BC's environment, economy, society, and human health. Preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species is possible with growing awareness, education, and management of human behaviours, practices, and habitats.
During the month of May right across BC, individuals and organizations are taking part in Invasive Species Action Month. The District of Metchosin will be highlighting the the Invasive Species Council of BC's four themes to help create awareness around invasive species. For more information on Invasive Species Action Month, please visit the Invasive Species Council of BC website.
WEEK 1 (May 1 - 7) DON'T LET IT LOOSE
On the first four Wednesdays of Invasive Species Action Month, Invasive Species Council of BC will be hosting free, 30-minutes lunch hour webinars based on each week's theme.
- Don't let #invasivespecies swim wild in BC's waters! Red-eared slider turtles are causing problems in our local ecosystems by competing with native species including the endangered Western painted turtle. Play your part and #DontLetItLoose!
- Keep your aquarium clean and BC's waters clear! Eurasian watermilfoil is an aquatic #invasiveplant which has been let loose from aquariums and can quickly take over waterways. Dispose of aquatic plants responsibly and make #DontLetItLoose practices mainstream.
- #Invasivespecies can be cute too! Invasive rabbits wreak havoc on agricultural areas and cause significant impacts to local ecosystems and #biodiversity. #DontLetItLoose and instead find out what steps you can take for a pet you can no longer care for.
- Goldfish are causing problems in BC's waterways. Don't let their innocent appearance fool you, they can grow big and overrun lakes and ponds! There is nothing fishy about learning more about what alternatives you have with an unwanted pet. #DontLetItLoose
WEEK 2 (MAY 8 - 14 MOTHER'S DAY) PLANT WISE
- Don't let invasive species take root in your garden! Check out the Grow Me Instead Guide to find native and non-invasive exotic plant alternatives to common #invasiveplants. It's easy to be #PlantWise!
- Don't let #invasicespecies spoil your #MothersDay garden plans! Give your mom the gift of a healthy and sustainable garden by being #PlantWise and choosing alternatives that are safe for our environment and Mother Nature.
- Oxeye daisies are still commonly sold in many wildflower mixes. These pretty problematic flowers take over your garden and spill into the wild, outcompeting native wildflowers and reducing #biodiversity. Be #PlantWise and choose native species seed mixes.
- Don't let invasive species creep into BC's natural habitats! English ivy can climb up trees and smother native vegetations. Don't let this invasive vine get a hold and tangle up our local ecosystems. Instead, plant alternatives like Boston ivy or Deer fern and be #PlantWise.
WEEK 3 (MAY 15 - 22 VICTORIA DAY)
Leading up to the May long weekend, we profile Buy Local Burn Local and Play
CleanGo, targeting campers, hikers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts:
- Don't let #invasive Species hitchhike on your mountain bike! Start and end your day with clean shoes and gear. Take action and #PlayCleanGo to prevent the spread of invasive species. Let's keep our trails and natural spaces healthy.
- Let's give invasive species the boot! When #invasivespecies get into BC's backcountry they crowd out native plants and reduce #biodiversity. #PlayCleanGo and do your part in stopping their spread. Let's keep our wilderness beautiful and diverse.
- Be a champion for BC's ecosystem and #PlayCleanGo! Even brushing against a plant can lead to accidentally gaining some invasive hitchhikers. That's why it's important to take the time to inspect your boots, clothe, gear and even pets before exploring the outdoors.
Transporting firewood from one area to another can introduce harmful insects and diseases, such as spongy moth, to new environments. Don't be a sap, help protect BC's forests by making sure you #BuyLocalBurnLocal when camping or travelling.
WEEK 4 (MAY 23 - May 28)
Dusting off your fishing gear? Ready to drop your boat in the water? As we warm up to summer, we hope fisher people and boaters will heed our Clean Drain Dry messaging:
- Attention fishers! Reel in your gear and reel in invasive species. Make sure to #CleanDrainDry your fishing equipment before moving to another body of water. Let's keep our lakes and streams free of #invasivespecies.
- Don't let #invasivespecies sink your boating fun! Keep your gear clean, drain water from your boat and equipment, and dry everything before moving to another body of water. Let's protect BC's waters and keep invasive species at bay. #CleanDrainDry.
- Don't let aquatic #invasivespecies make a splash in your summer fun! Remember to #CleanDrainDry your equipment, such as kayaks, paddleboards, and wetsuits, after each use. Make waves - be an aquatic steward and enjoy BC's waters responsibly.
- Hey water lovers, aquatic #invasive species can decrease #biodiversit, impact fish and wildlife habitat, and our ability to enjoy BC's beautiful waters! Prevent the spread of harmful hitchhikers by practicing @CleanDrainDry.