Hit Squad

The Glengarry News - - Health, Beauty, Fitness, Nutrition -

Be on the look­out for a Hit Squad mem­ber in a com­mu­nity near you this sum­mer.

Un­der the In­vad­ing Species Aware­ness Pro­gram, 30 stu­dents are work­ing at part­ner lo­ca­tions across the prov­ince to spread the word about in­va­sive species. One mem­ber of the squad is sta­tioned at South Na­tion Con­ser­va­tion in Finch.

In­va­sive species pose a grow­ing threat to On­tario’s bio­di­ver­sity and cause mil­lions of dol­lars in dam­age an­nu­ally. There are more in­va­sive species in On­tario than any­where else in Canada, so it’s im­por­tant to have the In­vad­ing Species Aware­ness Pro­gram (ISAP) Hit Squad work­ing across the prov­ince again this sum­mer to spread aware­ness about the im­pacts in­va­sive species are hav­ing on our en­vi­ron­ment, econ­omy, and so­ci­ety.

“The Hit Squad is an im­por­tant part of our out­reach strat­egy as they are de­liv­er­ing com­mu­ni­ty­based out­reach on in­va­sive species,” says So­phie Mon­fette, OFAH In­vad­ing Species Aware­ness Pro­gram Co­or­di­na­tor. “Our team of stu­dents al­lows us to con­nect with com­mu­ni­ties on a more lo­cal scale to ad­dress is­sues rel­e­vant to each com­mu­nity – some­thing that we would not be able to do with­out them.”

Over the course of the Sum­mer, the Hit Squad will be out at com­mu­nity events ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic on how to iden­tify and re­port in­va­sive species. Stu­dents will also have the op­por­tu­nity to mon­i­tor lo­cal rivers, wa­ter­ways and forests, look­ing for in­va­sive species such as ze­bra mus­sels, spiny water flea, round goby, gi­ant hog­weed, gar­lic mus­tard, and other in­vaders in their ge­o­graph­i­cal area.

They are part­nered with host or­ga­ni­za­tions such as con­ser­va­tion au­thor­i­ties, pro­vin­cial parks, non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, and the On­tario Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Forestry (MNRF) dis­trict of­fices.

Fund­ing is be­ing pro­vided by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s Canada Sum­mer Jobs pro­gram.

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