SHERBROOKE, Que. - Quebec says it will spend about $8 million over five years to fight invasive plant species.

Today's announcement comes just a few days after a coalition of groups called on Quebec to act immediately against one plant in particular because it has invaded at least 200 rivers and lakes in the province.

The Eurasian watermilfoil, or so-called zombie plant, hurts recreational activities as well as aquatic flora and fauna.

Environment Minister Isabelle Melancon says a Quebec wildlife foundation will get $1.25 million a year over five years to run the program.

Another $1.75 million will be spent on research and awareness.

The Quebec Environment Department says 87 floristic species in the province are considered harmful to the environment, the economy or society as a whole. They include Japanese knotwood, common reed, water chestnuts and giant hogweed.