Public Education and Outreach
A number of organizations have undertaken initiatives focused on public education and outreach to raise awareness about invasive species issues.
Transport Canada Marine, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada have been actively involved with the conference series International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS) since its inception. The conference is widely considered the most comprehensive international forum to promote the integration of science, policy and information exchange related to aquatic invasive species in marine and freshwater environments worldwide.
Transport Canada Marine, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada continue to contribute towards the development of the program through participation on the Program and Steering Committees, particularly with respect to ballast water issues.
Abstracts of presentations and posters presented at the conference that are related to ballast water, hull fouling and recreational boating as vectors for invasive species introductions and transfer are available on the ICAIS website.
Transport Canada Marine recently partnered with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to produce "Information for Boaters", a CD provided to recreational boaters at boat shows and marinas across Ontario and in the Prairies. A companion brochure entitled, "Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species", included actions that boaters can undertake to minimize their role in the potential spread of aquatic invasive species. A Boaters' Checklist decal was part of the program and was distributed as part of the Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety's Summer 2005 program, through marina associations and widely distributed in the Summer 2005 issue of the OFAH Magazine.
Environment Canada's Green Lane provides information about invasive species in Canada. In addition, the department's Canadian Wildlife Service, in conjunction with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, produces the Hinterland Who's Who.
Environment Canada's Invasive Alien Species Partnership Program (IASPP) is a five-year program that will provide funding of $1 million annually to enable Canadians to become actively involved in projects that prevent, detect, and manage invasive alien species and their pathways of invasion.
Stakeholders, including non-government organizations, Aboriginal organizations, education institutions, community groups, landowners, the private sector (industry), and provincial, territorial, and municipal governments are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in funding for projects that address education and outreach initiatives focusing on priority pathways of invasion; surveillance and management to detect, control and eradicate invasive alien species; and other activities that increase awareness and improve the understanding of Canadians about invasive alien species.
Additional questions can be directed to the IASPP Program Coordinator by phone at 819-953-4387 or by e-mail.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, established the Invasive Species Awareness Program to raise awareness of invasive species and encourage public participation in preventing their spread. The Invading Species Hotline and the Invading Species Watch program are key components.
The OFAH has a selection of education and public outreach tools related to invasive species that are available for purchase or loan. Their Invading Species Alert Educational Display is an easy to set up 8-foot educational display focusing on invading species including zebra mussels, ruffe, purple loosestrife and spiny water flea. It is shipped complete with brochures and specimens of zebra mussels, round goby and spiny water flea. Two videos - Stop the Invasion (25 minutes), Zebra Busters: Slowing the Invaders (12 minutes) - are available for loan or purchase. A slide presentation which was produced by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, entitled Zebra Mussels: What You Should Know, is also available, as are a variety of signs, posters and stickers targeting boaters and anglers regarding the prevention of the transfer of invasive species.
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