Look out, invasive plants. This money's comin' to get you!Thursday, January 24, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
DAVID ORAZIETTI, MPP
Orazietti announces $112,400 to support Invasive Species Research Institute
Province supports ongoing research to combat invasive species in Ontario
SAULT STE. MARIE - The Province is supporting the work of the new Invasive Species Research Institute with $84,900 to assist with a research project that will help train local volunteers to identify and map invasive terrestrial plants in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area as well as $27,500 to hire an intern or co-op position, David Orazietti, MPP announced today.
“In 2007 our government committed to developing a centre for invasive species research in Sault Ste. Marie and today we are announcing an additional commitment to this unique facility and its ongoing work,” said Orazietti. “This grant will enable researchers at the centre to investigate invasive plant species in our local area and assist them in developing effective strategies to protect our local eco-system as well as to help local forest-based industries.”
The Invasive Species Research Institute is dedicated to undertaking research on invasive forest plants and their impact on local native plant communities and ecosystems.
Provincial funding of $84,900 for this initiative is being provided through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) and will be used to hire a project manager and provide resources to recruit and train volunteers to identify and map the prevalence of invasive terrestrial plants in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.
“Exotic invasive plants are detrimental to ecosystem health as well as a community’s economic sustainability,” said Lisa Derickx, Invasive Species Liaison Officer at the Invasive Species Research Institute. “Funding provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation will allow the Invasive Species Research Institute to directly benefit local communities by engaging them in activities that positively impacts their well-being.”
The provincial support of $27,500 is from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and it is being used to hire an intern who, under the supervision of the Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, will help prepare for the 2012 summer work experiments, which will investigate whether alarm cue based natural repellents induce an avoidance response in sea lamprey.
Sea lamprey are an invasive aquatic pest in the Great Lakes.
The intern will start the preparation of the laboratory site, contribute to experimental design, collect all the behavioural data, analyze the data and contribute to the writing peer-reviewed scientific publications.
"This provincial funding, which is being provided through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, provides me with the opportunity to get important work experience as a volunteer coordinator,” said Kim Mihell, Volunteer Coordinator at the Invasive Species Research Institute. “I am recruiting volunteers and providing workshops for any interested groups or classes and I hope to gain more experience engaging citizens about our work and promoting community involvement through volunteer participation.”
The Invasive Species Research Institute was officially open in July, 2012.
The centre is dedicated to combating alien invasive species that threaten Canada’s natural resources and ecosystems.
The Government of Ontario has committed $15 million toward the invasive species research initiative, including $1.6 million towards the research centre, $800,000 for an invasive species research chair at Algoma University, $4.9 million to support a variety of innovative projects and on-going support for the annual operating costs of the Canada-Ontario Invasive Species Centre.