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The Government of Canada will be investing $14.7 million over the next five years for conservation projects in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes and Yoho national parks.
The conservation projects will focus on the prevention and management of aquatic invasive species.
According to the news release, these parks are vulnerable to invasive species due to the high amount of people who visit these areas for water recreation activities.
Invasive species can alter ecosystems, cause irreversible damages, impact vulnerable species and spread through other water systems.
Invasive mussels are particularly concerning due to their ability to drain nutrients in ecosystems which impacts the entire food web and water chemistry and can introduce disease to other species.
Efforts will also be made to protect fish species that are at risk due to invasive species.
Much of the funding will be put towards programs that support the prevention and education about the spread of aquatic invasive species.
People can do a few things to help protect bodies of water that are at risk, including:
Limiting water recreation
Clean, drain and dry all watercraft, fishing gear, water toys, paddle boards, coolers and buckets
Parks Canada recommends that visitors know the regional or local requirements before you visit
Work between Fisheries and Oceans in BC, Alberta and Montana, as well as Indigenous groups and local governments, will be ongoing to create a large-scale program to protect bodies of waters that are at risk.
To learn more about what BC is doing to address invasive aquatic species, visit this link.
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