Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is a collaborative social media campaign focused on raising awareness about invasive species and how to protect Canada’s natural spaces. ISAW is inspired by the ‘National Invasive Species Awareness Week’ in the United States, with Canada sharing the same dates as the U.S. campaign. For many years, the Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network, Forests Ontario, Invading Species Awareness Program, Invasive Species Centre, and the Ontario Invasive Plant Council have partnered to develop ISAW campaign resource materials for Ontario and Canada that have been used by dozens of organizations across the country.

Invasive Species Awareness Week takes place February 28 – March 4, 2022, using the hashtag #InvSpWk.

An invasive species is an organism that causes, or is likely to cause, ecological, economic, or social harm in a new environment where it is not native. Invasive species reduce the diversity of plant and animal species in an environment and can put native species at-risk. They do this by crowding-out or competing for resources like light, water, and nutrients, preying on native species, or acting as carriers for diseases or parasites that could spread to native species.

“The goal of ISAW is to discuss invasive species and their impacts with Canadians and share information to help prevent the spread of invasive species. We can all contribute to protecting Canada’s land and water,” says Sarah Rang, Executive Director at the Invasive Species Centre.

Whether you’re an environmentalist, an educator, or just want to know more, you can get involved by liking and sharing/retweeting posts created by participating organizations, or creating your own posts, using the hashtag #InvSpWk during ISAW. Each day of Invasive Species Awareness Week will focus on a different aspect of invasive species, so there is something new to learn all week.

Invasive Species Awareness Week materials are available to promote the campaign on social media. High-resolution images along with example text for social media posts can be downloaded here – you can add your organization’s logo or additional text specific to your organization/area. There is also a list of invasive species resources (with information links) included in the ISAW toolkit.

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