It’s Invasive Species Awareness Week in Ontario. Each day of the week the Ontario legislature focuses on a different aspect of invasive species prevention, monitoring and control.

Many resources are available to learn about how invasive species are spread, through horticulture or boating, for example, and good ways to stop it.

“In my riding, phragmites has been a major threat over the years,” Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett told the Ontario Legislature. “This invasive plant infests our wetlands and pushes out native species.”

However, “In recent years, community groups have taken action to stop the spread in the big Lake Erie marshes down at Long Point and Turkey Point,” he noted. “This is a great example of local communities and government working hand in hand to address this common threat.

Invasives can harm the biodiversity of an ecosystem, which affects the beauty of our environment, the wildlife within it and our livelihoods by disrupting farming, tourism and sustainable use of our natural resources.”

The government has taken steps to propose the addition of 13 new plants and animals to the list of invasive species and invested more than $2 million to support research, monitoring and management of invasive species.

The following day Chatham-Kent MPP Rick Nichols raised the subject of feral hogs, an invasive species that has been found in Norfolk County.

“Earlier this year, my ministry launched a pilot project, which includes on-the-ground follow-up in areas where reports suggest there is a high likelihood that wild pigs are present,” said John Yakubuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

At these locations, ministry staff are actively engaging with landowners to learn as much as possible, and using trail cameras to confirm these reports.”