Invasive Species – OVERVIEW

FOCA is very concerned about the potential impacts of introduced species and the effect they can have on our quality of life in Ontario.

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Find out more about invasive species in Ontario: click here for a link to the Cottager Action Plan that you can also download and share.

How can you help prevent the spread of invasive species in cottage country? Some general best practices are:

  • garden using only non-invasive plants
  • dispose of bait properly
  • buy firewood locally
  • inspect and clean your boat & motor when changing water bodies

Know what to look for and then take action!

icon: magnifying glassIf you identify any invading species near your cottage call the Invading Species hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or visit Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program.

We have already seen the impacts from the many existing and looming invasive species introductions, including forest pests like the Emerald Ash Borer, aquatics like the Zebra Mussel and Asian Carp. These invaders have proven to alter the environment, damage our economy, and negatively impact our communities.

Click here to see a time series showing the spread of one invader (Zebra Mussels) starting in 1986 (From USGS) 


Aug.7, 2019 – Meet the ‘Most Wanted’ Invaders of Lake Simcoe. Click here for the article.

Fact Sheets and Resources:

Older News & Other Links:

Feb.26 – Mar.2, 2018 is #InvasiveSpecies Week!

December 2017 – Collaborative fights Phragmites with international approach. Read the article from the International Joint Commission (IJC) here.

April 2017 – planning your garden? Read this Toronto Star article about plant selection, and avoiding invasives

February 2017 – the film “Making Waves: Battle for the Great Lakes” is a documentary about invasive species. Watch the trailer here.

A Case Study:

September 2016 – (The University of Wisconsin) Trophic Cascades / Unforeseen impacts of invasive species – Milwaukee and the National Park Service has been helping to research the causes of botulism poisoning in birds along the shores of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park. Leading this team is Dr. Harvey Bootsma. In describing the impacts of invasive species (quagga mussels) on the state of Lake Michigan, Dr. Bootsma was quoted saying:

“…if you went to Yellowstone Park and the bison were gone, there would be an uproar it would be really obvious and the Park just wouldn’t be the same. Yet the changes to Lake Michigan have been far more dramatic than that. If you looked at the change in species in the lake over the last 20 years – it’s a whole new system. Most of the public – and most policy makers – aren’t really fully aware how dramatic these changes are, and how fundamentally the lake has changed…”

For more, visit:


Michelle LewinInvasive Species – OVERVIEW