Greetings from the Invasive Species Centre 
Hello and summer greetings!
I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy the summer months. As we head into the back-to-school season, the Invasive Species Centre (ISC) is primed to continue our work in sharing knowledge and taking action on important invasive species projects.
In this edition of The Spread, we are excited to highlight news from the Invasive Species Centre including the ISampleON photo contest, species updates, the community tree check form, the Asian Carp anglers' survey, ISC 10th anniversary initiatives, and many exciting events!
The ISC is a proud member of the Green Shovels Collaborative (GSC), a coalition of conservation organizations that share an interest in preventing and managing invasive species. The GSC is pleased to announce a new Invasive Phragmites Control Fund, and the first call for funding proposals to support the control of aggressive invasive Phragmites australis (Common reed) in Ontario. Read more below about the Fund and how to apply by the deadline of September 14th.
Learn more about the 22nd International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species, with the theme of ‘Global Climate Change Amplifies Aquatic Invasive Species Impacts’. The call for abstracts of oral and poster presentations has a submission deadline of September 30th, and attendee registration is now open with early registration closing January 14th. Join us April 18-22, 2022 in Oostende, Belgium, or partake in the conference virtually online!
There are many ways to get involved and share in our vision of a Canada where land and water are protected from invasive species -- from community tree checks, to practicing boating clean-drain-dry protocols out on the water, to learning how to help manage invasive species in your backyard, and joining our monthly webinars.
We are always interested in new partnerships and new ideas - please contact me if you would like to discuss a new opportunity.
We extend thanks to our dedicated Board members, ISC team, partners, and supporters with a common goal of continued growth in invasive species action, outreach, and innovation.

With best wishes,
Sarah Rang
Executive Director, Invasive Species Centre
ISampleON Photo Contest!
Why is protecting Ontario lakes important to you? We want to know!
Early detection is our best defense against establishment of invasive species and their associated impact on ecosystems, the economy, and society.

Twenty-five lakes in the Lake Huron, St. Lawrence, and Lake Ontario watersheds that meet the “at-risk” criteria will be sampled for invasive mussels and spiny waterfleas.

This summer, we’re calling on Ontarians to tell us why they want to protect their waters from aquatic invasive species. Enter for a chance to win by telling us how or why you are preventing, detecting, and monitoring for aquatic invasive species in your favourite lakes! Deadline for submission is September 29, 2021.

Prizes include:
  • AENART Camping Hammock: Lightweight Nylon Portable Parachute Double, includes tree straps and carabiners
  • Authentic Falsa Thick Soft Handwoven Acrylic Yoga/Camp/Beach/Picnic Blanket
  • Chilly Moose Tumbler
  • JBL Go 3 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
  • ISC Bucket hat
  • ISC Carabiner Mug
  • ISC Buff
  • ISC Carabiner Compass
Taking Action Campaigns
Community Science Tree Check Form
Monitoring Forest Health With The Power Of Community Engagement 
Canada’s valued forests and urban areas are threatened by invasive forest insects and pathogens that impact these ecosystems, the economy, and society, including human health.

Prevention, detection, and monitoring strategies, including outreach and community monitoring programs are providing high return-on-investment when managing invasive species. 

The goal of this project is to empower Canadians with the knowledge and tools to monitor the health of their trees. In turn, this will increase priority pest surveillance efforts in the Province of Ontario through this community data collection.

Public reports help create a better understanding of the status of invasive species in Canada, both where species are present as well as areas they are not currently found. 
National Invasive Species Municipal Expenditure Survey
Building on the success of the Ontario-wide survey conducted in 2019, the Invasive Species Centre and Environment and Climate Change Canada, with the support of the federal-provincial-territorial Invasive Alien Species National Committee are conducting a review of known economic impacts of invasive species to municipalities across Canada.  

We have extended our submission deadline to September 30, 2021! To date, we have received 140 responses from municipalities across Canada.
We are reminding all municipalities in Canada to report their expenditures, identify their priority species, and help contribute to this important survey by September 30, 2021. Please consider responding even if you have no invasive species expenditures in your municipality or department, as additional important information can be captured under this survey.  
Asian Carp Canada Anglers' Survey
Fill out our survey for a change to win a Bass Pro Gift Card!
Asian carps pose a significant threat to the integrity of Great Lakes ecosystems because of their ability to outcompete native species.

Grass carp, one of the four species of Asian carps and the most imminent threat to Canadian waters, have the ability to reach up to five feet in length and over 80 pounds!

Their voracious appetites and rapid growth allow them to outgrow the gape (mouth) size of native predators and thrive without much rivalry. Although there are no established populations of grass carp, or any of the other species of Asian carps in Canada, the risks they present would raise economic, ecological, and social consequences including reduced opportunities for recreational fishing. In fact, popular angling species like Northern pike, largemouth bass, walleye and more would all experience negative impacts as a result of grass carp establishment.

Fill out our short survey and tell us what you know about Asian carps and be entered into a draw for a $100 Bass Pro Shops gift card!
Green Shovels Collaborative
The Green Shovels Collaborative is pleased to announce a new Invasive Phragmites Control Fund, and the first call for funding proposals to support the control of aggressive invasive Phragmites australis (Common reed) in Ontario.
The Green Shovels Collaborative is a coalition of conservation organizations that share an interest in preventing and managing invasive species, and includes Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA), the Invasive Species Centre (ISC), the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), and Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC).

The newly announced Invasive Phragmites Control Fund is a grant to support 6 to 10 community projects and is an excellent start toward a long-term goal.

Interested applicants should review the Invasive Phragmites Control Fund Program Guide available through the link below. The application deadline is Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.
Species Updates
The Latest on Beech Leaf Disease
Beech leaf disease (BLD) was first discovered in North America in 2012 in Ohio.

BLD has spread quickly since its arrival and is now found in several American states and Ontario.

This disease is rapidly expanding throughout the Southern Great Lakes region and New York. In Lake County, Ohio, BLD has shown a spread rate of 5.05 km2 from 2013 to 2016. During that time, more counties have been added to the infected areas list with Ontario added in 2017 (Ewing et al., 2018).
Economic Impacts of Invasive Species to Canada’s Forest Sector
Forestry contributes significantly to Canada’s economy. Preventing the spread of invasive species will help protect our forest industry.

Economic impacts to the forest industry result from the loss in timber product value as the result of damage from a variety of causes.

Canada’s strong forest economy contributes $25.8 billion to the national GDP and accounts for ~7% of Canada’s total annual exports. Canada’s annual timber losses due to invasive species are estimated at 61 million cubic metres (m³), equivalent to $720 million in losses (CFIA, 2004).
"Gypsy Moth" Gets a New Name
Common names for organisms are an important tool to help effectively make the link between science and public messages. The Invasive Species Centre has been engaged in conversations across the sector on making species nomenclature more inclusive for a few years, especially at meetings and events.

In July 2021, the Entomological Society of America removed “gypsy moth” as a recognized common name in its Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms List. At the same time, the organization launched a new program to review and replace insect common names that may be inappropriate or offensive because they perpetuate negative ethnic or racial stereotypes.

The Invasive Species Centre will transition our materials from “gypsy moth” to Lymantria dispar (Ldd), as well as the future common name once it has been developed.

We will be sharing information about this change at events and in our resources, and transitioning our audiences over to new naming conventions by explaining the changes and rationale.
Wildfire, Climate Change, and Invasive Species
Wildfires are a destructive force, but are a natural part of forest succession and have several ecological benefits.

Some species, like the lodgepole pine in Canada’s west, have interacted and evolved with the land in order to begin utilizing the fire as an adaptive measure.

Lodgepole and jack pines, both found in Canada’s boreal forest, have serotinous cones – cones that require the heat of fire to release their seeds! These species act as pioneer species, being the driving force for forest regeneration after a fire.
Creating a Successful Sea Lamprey Control Program
Sea lamprey are native to the Northern Atlantic Ocean and are a delicacy in some European countries. But this is not the case everywhere… Sea lampreys invaded the Great Lakes in the 1930s and are now adapted to live their whole lives in freshwater. Sea lamprey are by far the most destructive of all invading species in the Great Lakes and they are currently present in all of them.

Scientists currently use a variety of different techniques to control lamprey populations (traps, barriers, and chemicals). Traps and barriers are used to block spawning lamprey from moving upriver to spawn or for physically removing lamprey.

Industry professionals, non-profit organizations, and government agencies have come together to create a successful control program and will continue to work together to improve the program efficacy on controlling this invasive species.
Invasive Species Centre Turns 10
Invasive Species Centre Ontario Boot Brush Station Contest Winners!
To commemorate its 10-year anniversary, the Invasive Species Centre is providing 10 boot brush stations in Ontario to help protect recreational trail systems from invasive species. 

Invasive species can hitchhike on people’s boots, clothing, equipment, and pets from one area to another. This allows further spread and possible harm to the places we love to hike and camp.

When we brush debris containing invasive plant seeds off us, we stop harmful invasive plants, insects, and diseases from infesting these special areas. Many of our parks and natural spaces are experiencing record numbers of visitors, so these community boot brush stations are a small step to help provide new ways to prevent the spread of invasive species.

A total of ten boot brush stations were randomly drawn from over 65 eligible entries across Ontario: two in Southern Ontario, two in Central Ontario, two in Northwestern Ontario, two in Northeastern Ontario, and two in Eastern Ontario.

Congratulations to the organizations selected as a winner of a Boot Brush Station! 
Invasive Species Centre Education And Community Action Microgrants
The Invasive Species Centre is pleased to announce the recipients of the Education and Community Action Microgrants for Ontario as part of the Centre’s 10-Year Anniversary celebrations. 

Thank you to the individuals, groups and organizations that take action to help prevent and manage invasive species.

Work from the recipients is now underway, such as the Severn Sound Environmental Association's (SSEA) Starry stonewort monitoring and education system. You can read more about the SSEA project by clicking here, or by checking out all of our recipients in the link below.
Biodiversity Garden
The Invasive Species Centre, in partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, and the City of Sault Ste. Marie, are creating a Biodiversity Garden featuring native plants.

The accessible garden will be at the Public Library on East St., adjacent to the Hub Trail. The goal for this 2021-2022 project is to increase knowledge of invasive species, provide educational tools to show how native plants can be biodiverse, support pollinators, support local ecosystems, and be part of a beautiful space!

The garden will be designed to have green infrastructure, supporting rain water absorption, and keeping excess water out of the sewer systems.
Upcoming Events
NAISMA Annual Conference
NAISMA's conference is for anyone who does invasive species management, research, policy, or outreach and education.

This year's virtual conference is September 27-30, 2021, and will include the following Invasive Species Centre's presentations:

  • Sarah Rang, Executive Director: "Helping to Build the Business Case for Investment: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Invasive Phragmites."
  • Lauren Bell, Program Manager: "Invasive Species and Community Science."
  • Mackenzie DiGasparro, Program Development Coordinator: "Oak Wilt Outreach in Ontario: A Model for Educating Communities on Invasive Species."
  • Rebecca Schroeder, Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist: "Using Digital Tools for Grass Carp Awareness and Prevention."
  • Colin Cassin, Policy and Program Development Manager: "Unlocking New Opportunities for AIS Detection: Using Community Science and New Techniques in eDNA Sampling to Improve AIS Monitoring Programs."
Community of Practice - October 20th Members' Meeting
The Invasive Species Municipal Community of Practice (CoP) continues to engage municipal and conservation authority representatives to encourage collaboration and conversations about invasive species management through our virtual CoP platform.

If you are a municipal or conservation authority representative and would like to learn more about the CoP, please contact Emily at

The next CoP members' meeting takes place October 20th at 10:30 a.m., and will feature roundtable discussions, a guest speaker, and the opportunity for a Q&A following their presentation. 
22nd International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS): Call For Abstracts
The theme of ICAIS 2022 is Global Climate Change Amplifies Aquatic Invasive Species Impacts to demonstrate the interconnectedness of global invasive species issues and inspire international collaboration on research projects at a global scale.

The ICAIS Technical Program Committee invites the submission of 300-word abstracts for oral and poster presentations addressing invasive species issues in freshwater, marine, and estuarine environments.

For more information on the topics to be addressed during ICAIS 2022 visit The abstract submission deadline is September 30, 2021.
Invasive Species Centre Webinars
The Invasive Species is collaborating with experts in the field of invasive species management, prevention, and monitoring to discuss different topics each month.

On September 15, join the ISC and the Ontario Invasive Plant Council's webinar: "Himalayan Balsam - A Webinar on Control and Management in Ontario."

Himalayan balsam is an annual plant, native to the Himalayan region of Asia. It was introduced to North America in the early 1800s and is commonly used as an ornamental plant. It has been successful at escaping cultivation and invading natural areas, creating dense stands that out-compete native vegetation.

This one-hour webinar will provide a broad overview of Himalayan balsam, how to identify it, and the current best management practices. Join us for this FREE webinar to learn how you can start managing Himalayan balsam!

Sign up here to learn more about Himalayan balsam, or see our past webinars in the link below!
Ontario Biodiversity Summit
Brought to you by the Ontario Biodiversity Council, the virtual Ontario Biodiversity Summit of 2021 is here!

Sessions will be led by subject matter experts and will bring together people from across Ontario and around the globe to talk about, celebrate, and take action to protect biodiversity using nature-based solutions.

Webinars are ongoing throughout the summer and fall.
Past Events
Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival
The Invasive Species Centre participated in the seventh annual and first virtual Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival hosted by Science North.

The ISC presented to 160 students during ARTIE – the Advanced Research Technology Innovation Expo - and challenged the participants with a quiz to learn the signs and symptoms of invasive species and pathogens in trees.

The ISC also participated in the Science Carnival, where we provided a virtual tour to the 700 people who tuned in. They were able to see and learn about the Asian Carp exhibit that is located at the Toronto Zoo. Take a virtual tour of the exhibit here.
Invasive Species Centre Team
Welcome to Our New Board Member
Diane-Laure Arjalies is an Assistant Professor at Western University and Ivey Business School in London, ON. Her work includes research on transforming markets towards sustainability, responsible investing, conservation in finance, impact assessment, integrated reporting, and alternative currencies.
Diane-Laure is a member of the Scientific Committee of the French SRI, board member of the French Social Investment Forum, an advisory member of the Principles for Responsible Investing, and jury member of the FIR-PRI Finance and Sustainability Awards. She is also an honorary research fellow at Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.

Welcome to the ISC Board!
Welcome to Our New Team Members
Emily Posteraro
Jenna White
Karen Alexander
Jaime Brideau
The Invasive Species Centre would like to welcome Emily Posteraro in the role of Program Development Coordinator, Jenna White in the role of Policy and Program Development Intern, Karen Alexander in the role of Policy Coordinator, and Jaime Brideau in the role of Events Management and Communications Intern.

Click here to read the new team member bios.

Welcome to the team!
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