Invasive Alien Species are one of the leading threats to biodiversity world-wide. Through its ‘vectorI.A.S.‘ program, P.O.W.E.R. is doing its part to address this issue in our community!
What is vectorI.A.S.?
vectorI.A.S. (pronounced ‘vek-TAWR-ee-us’) is a community-based Invasive Alien Species action and awareness initiative, led by Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (P.O.W.E.R.) Halton Inc. and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This description for our initiative combines the word ‘vector’ (a.k.a. the pathway by which a species may be transmitted between populations) and the acronym ‘I.A.S.’ for Invasive Alien Species. The name is a play on the word ‘victorious’ – despite the ongoing nature of the work!
What do we do?
Invasive Alien Species outreach, education, mapping, removal and proper disposal. We support community groups, schools, non-government organizations, conservation authorities and local governments in their efforts to address and act on Invasive Alien Species issues in Halton and Peel.
Why Invasive Alien Species?
Invasive Alien Species are a major threat to biodiversity, the economy and by extension, to human health and well-being. Let’s keep our local ecosystems diverse, resilient and healthy by dealing with unwanted Invasive Alien Species!
Project accomplishments to date
Engaging Local Community: We are active with invasive species outreach, awareness, and education with an extensive array of local authorities, businesses, and community groups/organizations, including a variety of elementary and secondary schools across Halton and Peel Regions.
So far, we have provided green work experience for students and community collaborators; as well as training and certification for network participants; and have coordinated over well over 1000 related volunteer hours.
Mapping and Monitoring: We have tracked invasive species locations throughout local trail systems and along roadsides, and have conducted region-wide road surveys of invasive Common Reed (Phragmites australis) throughout both Halton and Peel. We are in the process of generating the associated maps and sharing data.
Management: Our crews have led or participated in many community action days and have helped remove or treat tonnes of invasive species biomass to improve the structure, function and overall resilience of local ecosystems.
How can you get involved?
Contact us, and we’ll make a plan together! We will collaborate with you to deliver invasive species outreach, training, data collection/management/mapping, and/or removal events. We are also happy to provide experiential learning opportunities for elementary, secondary or post-secondary school groups, and more! Please contact Program Director Dianne Watkins for more information.