The Invasive Species Council of BC is alerting waterfront residents and property owners to the impacts invasive species can have on our waters, our forests and our homes. Your waterfront property may already host some of the worst offenders such as yellow flag iris, commonly sold in nurseries, or Eurasian watermilfoil. In popular fishing areas, large- and smallmouth bass may have been released for fishing purposes, potentially carrying American bullfrog tadpole hitchhikers. Aquarium pets and plants, like goldfish and parrot’s feather, have also been introduced into some BC waterbodies via dumping. These species are considered high-risk because they can compete heavily for resources, disrupt natural processes and reduce biodiversity.
Not only do invasive species harm the natural environment, they can also create financial burdens for waterfront property owners. If these species are not controlled, they can damage your house, reduce property values and affect health and safety. Aquatic invasive species also interfere with recreation, preventing or reducing opportunities for swimming, boating and fishing. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada says that invasive species cost Canadians about $6 per person per year in direct costs, but the ‘invisible tax’ in lost revenue and other costs amounts to over $1,000 each year for every Canadian.
It is important for waterfront owners and residents to understand how to protect their local environment and their investments of time and money from the threat of invasive species. Waterfront residents who enjoy boating or paddling can help protect B.C. from the west coast to the Rockies by ensuring they follow Clean Drain Dry procedures with their watercraft after leaving a body of water. To reduce the spread of invasive species and prevent further damage, boaters and paddlers should always:
- Clean plants, animals and mud from your boat and gear
- Drain all water from your boat and gear onto land
- Dry all parts of your boat and gear completely
To learn more about provincial regulations and programs concerning invasive species, or to commit to the Clean Drain Dry program, visit CleanDrainDry.ca
About the Clean Drain Dry program in BC:
The Canadian Council on Invasive Species is pleased to work in partnership with the Invasive Species Council of BC and with funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada in launching the Clean Drain Dry program in BC, as the foundation for a national program. The project aims to encourage boaters and aquatic recreationists, who play a critical role in protecting local watersheds from invasive species, to Clean, Drain, and Dry all boats and equipment. Over a three-year pilot term, resources, signage and a social and digital media campaign will be designed to shift the behaviour of boaters and aquatic recreationists to encourage the practice of Clean, Drain and Dry.
About the Invasive Species Council of BC:
ISCBC is dedicated to keeping our landscapes and communities free of invasive species. It provides a coordinated, province-wide approach to reducing the impact of invasive species in BC. ISCBC unites efforts across the province and collaborates with a variety of partners to develop unique solutions for the wide variety of ecosystems across BC.
About the Canadian Council on Invasive Species:
The Canadian Council on Invasive Species works collaboratively across jurisdictional boundaries to support actions and information that can help reduce the threat and impacts of invasive species. Invasive species councils, committees, and coalitions representing provinces and territories across Canada established this federal society to work together to reduce the impact of invasive species across the country.
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