This project seeks to support the eradication of water soldier from the Trent-Severn Waterway by working with the inter-agency working group to monitor and control the water soldier populations to achieve the long-term goal of eradicating water soldier in order to restore and protect biodiversity.
Invasive species are a growing environmental and economic threat to Ontario. Invasive species are plants, animals, and micro-organisms introduced by human action outside their natural past or present distribution whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy, or society, including human health (Government of Canada, 2004). Once established, invasive species are extremely difficult and costly to control and eradicate, and their ecological effects are often irreversible. For example, invasive species management and control in Canada has an approximate annual cost to be as much as $20 billion to the forest sector, $7 billion for aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and $2.2 billion in the agricultural sector (Environment Canada, 2010).
2020 is a critical year to continue entire population monitoring and control efforts, as subsequent years (2018 & 2019) have shown a significant reduction of water soldier after multiple years of wide-scale herbicide application. Some areas have seen a reduction of up to 70%, suggesting that the success of water soldier eradication depends on consistent monitoring and treatment of the entire infestation. This project looks to build on our past successes and to continue our community engagement through education, awareness, consultation, and work towards the goal of eradicating water soldier from Ontario.