RICHMOND – The provincial government is providing $7,000 to the City of Richmond to help control the spread of invasive plants.

The funding will be invested in activities such as raising public awareness of invasive plants, surveying invasive plant populations and actively treating high-priority sites to control their spread.

“Controlling invasive species can be costly if they are not managed appropriately, and that’s why our government is taking further action with this funding,” Richmond Centre MLA Teresa Wat said.

“Considering the adverse economic and environmental impacts invasive plant species can have, I’m pleased this funding supports the City of Richmond in managing the spread of invasive species,” Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap said.

“This funding supports our agriculture industry and maintains B.C.’s natural heritage,” Richmond East MLA Linda Reid said. “Protecting our ecosystems from invasive species is important to maintaining our natural environments and preventing economic damage to agricultural crops.”

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into B.C. from other areas. They displace our native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage, and some pose a health risk to people. Invasive plants may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

The grant to Northwest Invasive Plant Council is one of 29, totalling $1.6 million, which are being distributed provincewide to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to assist with their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.

The Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where invasive plant species have been found and responds rapidly to contain and eradicate them before they become established and start spreading.

This funding is in addition to the $809,000 already earmarked by the provincial government for invasive plant control and management in the fiscal 2014-15 year.

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