Coastal Invasive Species Committee

   October 2013 E-Newsletter

I -   Coastal ISC News and Updates
II - Upcoming Events
III -Peo
ple in Action
IV - Regional News
V -   BC and International News
VI - Resources and Tidbits

Photo: Purple Loosestrife

I -  Coastal ISC News and Updates

As the leaves begin to yellow and fall from trees and the rains begin, take a moment to pause and reflect on your summer.  It may have rushed by in a blurr of activities or passed with peaceful hours of tranquility.  What moments do you remember most?  Many of us will remember enjoying the company of friends and family on a warm day and delighting in the wide array of fresh foods.  But were you aware that invasive plants can affect your day-to-day activities? Invasive plants can outcompete agricultural crops like corn and they can quickly overgrow your favorite park, turning the perfect picnic spot into a bed of blackberry thorns. So as we prepare for winter, be mindful that our everyday actions, like keeping invasive plants and weeds from going to seed, can go a long way towards maintaining our quality of life.
Knotweed programs aimed at eradicating invasive knotweed species were carried out in the  Capitol Regional District and the Comox Valley Regional Districts in partnership with the Coastal ISC.  These programs asked the public to report sightings of knotweed in their respective community and offered professionals to conduct treatments.  All knotweed reports were examined and select sites will have stem injection treatments carried out at no cost to the landowner.

The Comox Valley Regional District has developed a new tool for local residents: a Knotweed Alert Sheet.  This new tool provides photos, information on identification and proper disposal methods, is available on their website.

Here at Coastal ISC the summer was a busy one!  We received hundreds of calls to report knotweed in the Capitol and Comox Valley Regional Districts, as part of knotweed eradication programs. With such a great response to these programs, we are glad to have so many residents get on board to get rid of knotweed! We also had several projects which received media attention, including Rachelle McElroy, our Executive Director on QFM radio talking about the dangers of giant hogweed or Dave Murphy, Director at Coastal ISC speaking about knotweed treatments on CBC radio.  As our contractors begin wrapping up their field season and treatments for the year, our staff continue to work with coastal communities to reduce the negative impacts of invasive plants.

II - Upcoming Events

October 5 and/or 19 2013, 9:30am - 4pm, Mill Hill Regional Park’s Annual Broom Sweep, Mill Hill Park Victoria, BC.
October 23-24th 2013,  Environmental Stewardship Community Workshop, presented by The Stewardship Center at the University of Victoria, email for more info at:
Jan 21-24 2014, The Invasive Species Council of BC is pleased to announce the 2014 Public Educational Forum, Delta Airport Hotel, Richmond, BC.

III - People in Action

Staff and contractors have been busy removing Spartina densiflora from the foreshore areas of Baynes Sound; along with our partners at Ducks Unlimited and the Vancouver Island Land Management Conservation Program. Over 10,000 lbs of the invasive cordgrass has been dug out and removed by hand, with several more sites to go.  Big thanks goes out to the Comox Valley Regional District for waiving the landfill tipping fee for the Spartina project, which has been a great contribution to the program.

A new Toxic Invasive Plants Brochure has been released ! This great new brochure explains what invasive plants are AND opens up to a poster that highlights the six most toxic invasive plants found in the Comox Valley; along with large photos, descriptions and control measures.  The brochure was produced by the Comox Valley Regional District with support from Coastal ISC.   Visit the Comox Valley Regional District website for more information on how they are managing invasive plants and for a free downloadable brochure.


IV - Regional News

Invasive fighters making headway on knotweed
By John Gleeson, Coast Reporter, August 23, 2013
For the first time, a concerted effort is underway this summer to eradicate Japanese knotweed from the Lower Sunshine Coast, the executive director of the Coastal Invasive Species Committee (ISC) said this week.  
“Based on outreach, the Coastal ISC has been doing in the Sunshine Coast for the past two years, this is the first year we have made any headway and concentrated efforts in the Lower Sunshine Coast. Read more here 

Invasive species: How they got here, and what we can do
By Amy Smart,  Times Colonist, August 30, 2013
When one of the world’s worst invasive species, the Argentine ant, showed up along Oak Bay Avenue this summer, it joined a legion of other aliens making themselves comfortable on Vancouver Island. The tiny insects drew attention for their international fame — they now exist on every continent except Antarctica — but there are many more species that don’t get as much notice. The Capital Region Invasive Species Partnership, a local branch of the Coastal Invasive Species Committee, has identified 78 invasive-plant species alone as priorities. Read more here

False alarm on recent giant hogweed report
by Chris Bolster, PeakOnline, August 27, 2013
Public reporting has been pivotal in limiting the spread of noxious weeds, says a member of the Coastal Invasive Species Committee (CISC).
“The public has been a big help in helping to point these plants out,” said Murphy. Read more here

Herbicide Worries Beddis Residents
By Elizabeth Nolan on July 31, 2013
Residents of a quiet Salt Spring neighbourhood are questioning the use of a herbicide on local roadways. Signs announcing the use of glyphosate to help with gorse removal went up on Beddis Road on Friday, prompting an outcry from locals. Read more here

Knotweed: a growing threat that has Victoria on offensive
By Jeff Bell, Times Colonist, August 10, 2013
Rachelle McElroy clears some invasive knotweed stalks that can grow four centimetres a day.  A fast-growing, non-native plant that can damage roads and houses with its powerful roots is the target of a regional eradication campaign. Knotweed, which resembles bamboo, has been known to grow through pavement, house foundations and drainage systems, and to harm fish and wildlife habitat. In parts of the United Kingdom, where it has become particularly widespread, it has led to mortgages being refused. Read more here

Destructive knotweed not welcome in CRD
CTV News, Victoria, August 2013
CTV's Andrew Johnson shows us why the invasive species that could be in your yard is on the Capital Region's kill-list. Watch here

V -  BC and International News

Eco-arts Project at  fantastic community event in Fairfield
Farifield Gonzales Community Association, August 2013
We had a great time presenting eco-arts at the 1-day event at St. Ann’s Academy grounds, Sunday August 18th called Fibrations. People showed their curiosity for the Eco-arts Project and responded enthusiastically to the idea of “re-purposing” invasive plant fibers.  Read more here   Watch video here

Ailanthus tree's status as invasive species offers lesson in human interaction
By Matthew Swayne, Penn State News, June 24, 2013
An exotic tree species that changed from prized possession to forest management nightmare serves as a lesson in the unpredictability of non-native species mixing with human interactions, according to researchers. "There are other invasive tree species in Pennsylvania, but the ailanthus, by far, has been here longer and does more damage than any other. Read more here

New exhibit showcases ‘alien’ species infestation
By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver, Sept 19 2013
Inconspicuous plants from Europe, seemingly friendly Asian ladybugs, and even large squirrels from the East Coast have been forcing out B.C.’s native species ever since the pioneering days by out-competing local flora and fauna. Read more here

Flame weeding seen as alternative to herbicide control
By Loretta Sorensen, Midwest Producer, September 4, 2013
Kansas farmer Ralph Pivonka got the attention of his neighbors in 1959 when he used a torch to kill weeds in his fence line. His innovative approach to weed control led to development of...Read more here  

Action to protect biodiversity against problematic invasive species in Europe
By the European Commission, Sept 9, 2013
The European Commission has proposed new legislation to prevent and manage the rapidly growing threat from invasive species. There are currently over 12 000 species present in Europe which are alien to the natural environment. About 15% of these are invasive and they are rapidly growing in number. Read more here

VI - Resources and Tidbits

Cloud Computing: A Key Tool in the Fight Against Invasive Species
By Darci Palmquist, The Nature Conservancy, July 17, 2013 
Conservation problems are often big and unwieldy, involving copious data and multiple layers of impact. But how can resource managers hope to stop invasives in their tracks when simply keeping up with their numbers and locations is a challenge? Enter cloud computing.
Read more here

Thank you for your continued support!

Coastal ISC Staff and Partners in Action!

IAPP Training
in Nanaimo

Spartina densiflora
removal along
Baynes Sound

Training in