Money provided to combat spread of invasive plants

Provincial government grants local groups total of $68,700

A pair of local organizations received provincial government money to fight the spread of invasive plants.

The Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council will get $43,700, while the Fraser Valley Regional District will receive $25,000.

The funding will be invested in raising public awareness of invasive plants, surveying invasive plant populations and actively treating high-priority sites to control their spread.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into B.C. from other areas. They displace native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage, and some pose a health risk to people. Invasive plants may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

This grant is one of 29, totalling $1.6 million, which are being distributed province-wide to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to assist with their activities and support the objectives of the provincial invasive plant program.

The program identifies sites where invasive plant species have been found and responds rapidly to contain and eradicate them before they become established and start spreading.

This funding is in addition to the $809,000 already earmarked by the provincial government for invasive plant control and management in the fiscal 2014-15 year.

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