Coastal Invasive Species Committee

April 2013 E-Newsletter

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

Photo: Common Periwinkle

Happy Spring!

We are excited to announce our new name - The Coastal Invasive Species Committee (Coastal ISC).  This change comes after members voted at the 2012 AGM to change the organizations name and mandate to include invasive species, not just plants.  You'll also notice a sparkling re-design of our logo, refresh of our website and new URL:

I -  Coastal ISC News and Updates
 Coastal ISC NEW logoThe Coastal ISC is excited to showcase it's new logo.  The leaf speaks to the primary focus of the committee - terrestrial plants - while acknowledging it's new responsibility - species. Being that the communities serviced by the Coastal ISC are coastal communities, the island feel of the mountains surrounded by water give the logo a sense of place - we hope you agree. Tell us what you think, like us on facebook

Note the new website: and email:

2013 Coastal ISC Invasive Plant Management Planning Underway

Coastal ISC Invasive Species Management AreaPlanning is underway for the Coastal ISC Invasive Plant Management Area.  Funding agencies including the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations, BC Hydro and Fortis BC representatives gathered to review maps of the Coastal ISC and set priorities for treatment for 2013.

Top of the list for treatment are Giant Hogweed and Knotweed species, plants too damaging to ignore at manageable infestation levels.

Refer to the Coastal ISC priority invasive plant list for a list of species also in line for treatment by priority in the Coastal ISC service area

For priorities in the Capital Regional District, refer to the CRISP priority invasive plant list 


Buffalo BurHave You Seen This Plant?

A new invader has been spotted in the Victoria area: Buffalo Bur (Solanum rostratum).   This plant is from the nightshade family and originates from the Great Plains region of the USA.  Buffalo Bur is an annual, with spiny leaves, flowers, and stems that grows up to 2 feet tall. Leaves are deeply lobed, and up to 5 inches long. Flowers are 1 inch across, 5 petalled, bright yellow, and bloom from midsummer until frost.

"It’s a concern because once established it spreads quickly and is a health risk, nasty spines" says June Pretzer, Chair of the Coastal ISC who found a specimen in a Saanich park this past summer.  This species reproduces by seed production, with each plant capable of  producing 8500 seeds.  All parts of this plant are toxic to livestock - although they rarely graze on this prickly plant.  More information can be found at EFlora BC.

Spartina trial installation

Spartina Shade Trials on Vancouver Island

A Shade Trial has been installed as part of the Vancouver Island Spartina project, a joint partnership between the Spartina Working Group, the Coastal ISC, the Vancouver Island Land Conservation Management Program and Ducks Unlimited.  This shade trial has been set up on the foreshore area in Comox, within the Comox Valley Regional District. 

The trial covers two S. patens patches, and uses a special geotextile fabric, which is water permeable, staked down to completely cover the invasive vegetation.  The goal is to prevent the invasive S. patens from being able to photosynthesis and thereby eradicate it.  The trial is intended to last for 2 years and will provide valuable insight into mechanical methods to control this aquatic invasive grass.    

II - Upcoming Events

SAVE THE DATE: Coastal ISC AGM and Field Tour - Thursday, June 13th 2013.  This year we are moving the AGM up island to the central part of the Island, location to be announced.  You can expect field tours, informative speakers and engaging stakeholder dialogue.  The theme is Restoration, an essential component of any invasive species management activity - I hope you will join us?

INVASIVE SPECIES WEEK  June 10 - 16th, 2013: How are you celebrating invasive species week? Promote your invasive species week events in our newsletter, contact us today!

III - People in Action
Invasive Plant Free Victoria Seedy SaturdayInvasive Plant Free Victoria Seedy Saturday! The Capital Region Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) worked with Victoria Seedy Saturday organisers to help them "work towards an invasive plant free Victoria Seedy Saturday" .  Seedy Saturday is a national, annual event that brings people together to buy, sell and trade seeds, especially heirloom varieties, or those that have been in a family for years if not several generations. CRISP was thrilled to be taking part in this strong and wonderful tradition.

St. John's Wort, Milk Thistle and Garlic Mustard and some other invasive plants also have healing properties, if you are growing these plants prevent them from going to seed by removing reproductive parts (flowers) and containing the roots in a container or pot. Do not compost invasive plants is another warning to prevent further spread. If you are selling these seeds warn buyers of the impacts they pose to livestalk, farm land and increased maintenance costs if they escape and spread. 
Spread the word and not the weeds!

European Fire Ants Myrmica rubra. European Fire Ants have been found in select communities in central and southern Vancouver Island. An action plan is in place involving key partners in BC including provincial and local governments, Thomson Rivers University, the Invasive Species Council of BC and regional species committees. Find out more about these stinging ants visit the Costal ISC website


IV - Regional News

A word from our weed warriers: Broombusters!

Broombusters is in its 8th year.  Efforts now stretch from Nanaimo to Campbell River. Broombusting works!
What do they do?  Cut Broom in Bloom is their slogan.  Cutting broom at the right time and in the right way is the key – all the way to the ground while the energy is still in the flowers. Cut broom dies.  Naysayers – visit Qualicum Beach this May; the town is nearly broom free - all from cutting!

(Exceptions: Pull very young broom, lop off green branches from huge broom, and multi-stem mowed broom is a curse requiring perseverance!)

Broombusters focuses on education, empowerment and cooperation. Volunteers do all the work.  For communication, they rely on the press, radio, website and email.  Support from municipalities, regional districts and the Ministry of Transportation is essential for Broombusters to continue their efforts.

In each area, each May, Broombusters helps to organize 3 or more community cuts to clear a visible public space, and to teach people how to cut broom. Volunteers can continue on their own time, near their homes all through May, before the yellow flowers turn to seedpods. People become stewards of their neighborhoods – and broom is disappearing.

The model works. Cut the Bloomin’ Broom! To participate visit the Broombusters website or  contact
V -  BC and International News

The desirable Milfoil Weevil confirmed to be in Christina Lake
by Erin Perkins on 22 Nov 2012
Weevil samples taken from Christina Lake have been confirmed to be the right kind of weevil for eating the invasive Eurasian Milfoil, making it possible to rear and release more of the rice-sized bug to naturally eat the weed. Read the full story here.

VI - Resources and Tidbits

Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovey Team (GOERT) produced the Restoring British Columbia's Garry Oak Ecosystems: Principles and Practices.  Chapter 9 is a great resource for those involved with invasive plant managment; especially for coastal British Columbia.  Chapter 9 Alien Invasive Species can be viewed online here. 

Eradication by Mastication!
Bullfrog hunts inspire IAE’s inaugural Invasive Species Cook-off. Who knew that late night hunts for the non-native bullfrog, introduced into Oregon waters as an edible frog, would serve up inspiration for IAE’s first ever ‘Invasive Species Cook-off’, but often small contributions lead to major impacts… Read more here.

EarthFix Video: Science delivers invasive plant to Southern Oregon
The story of unintentional spread of invasive plants. Link to the video here.


Thank you for your continued support!

Coastal ISC Staff and Partners in Action!

Spartina Trials in Comox BC

Japanese Knotweed
treatment in Langford BC

CRISP 2nd Annual Meeting