Carson Trout Lepine & Greenan Lakes Association of Madawaska Valley Township, ON, was awarded a grant from the Green Shovels Collaborative’s Invasive Phragmites Control Fund to combat the invasive plant, Phragmites. Above: Methods to control invasive Phragmites – continuous cutting (left); tarping (right). Photos: Carson Trout Lepine & Greenan Lakes Association.
This project joins 20 others from across Ontario that were supported through the Invasive Phragmites Control Fund, a granting program made possible by an expanded investment of $250,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Invasive Phragmites is an aggressive plant that spreads quickly and poses a considerable threat to Ontario’s environment and economy. Phragmites outcompetes native species for water and nutrients. Growing up to 5 metres in height and up to 1 metre below ground, Phragmites forms dense stands that generally provide poor habitat and food for wildlife, including several species at risk. Once established, Phragmites can degrade local environments including reducing biological diversity, impacting infrastructure, agriculture, recreation, tourism, and public safety.
Investing in a collaborative, sustained solution to Phragmites is well worth it. A study estimated total economic benefits realized by controlling Phragmites could exceed $113 million annually in Ontario. An investment in scaled Phragmites control would pay dividends in preventing the many costs of Phragmites to Ontario through reduced agricultural production, reduced public access to water, increased flooding, and lost tourism revenue.
Removal and reclamation of Phragmites-dominated shoreline is an ongoing, collaborative project using proven strategies to control the rapid spread of Phragmites. The project started in July 2022 using a tarping strategy to smother and solarize rhizomes of the Phragmites and has evolved to a system of continuous cutting throughout the spring and summer. These efforts have weakened the stalk of the Phragmites and successfully reduced its density.
“In partnership with the County of Renfrew and the municipality of Madawaska Valley, it was our hope to protect our surrounding lands that are enriched with many lakes and wetlands that are vulnerable to the potential loss of biodiversity from any incursion of Phragmites australis, Ontario’s most aggressive and number one invasive plant,” said Wendy Wolak, President/Chair Carson Trout Lepine and Greenan Lakes Association. “It is imperative that this invasive species does not continue to spread to other areas of the County, including wetlands, beaches and roadside ditches.”
You can learn more about the Invasive Phragmites Control Fund here.
About the Green Shovels Collaborative
The Green Shovels Collaborative is a coalition of conservation organizations that share an interest in preventing and managing invasive species. It includes Invasive Species Centre, Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ontario Invasive Plant Council, and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. The Green Shovels Collaborative works to reduce the spread of invasive species, including aggressive invasive Phragmites australis (Common reed).
About the Invasive Species Centre
The Invasive Species Centre is a not-for-profit organization that prevents the spread of invasive species in Canada and beyond by catalyzing invasive species management and communicating policy and science knowledge. Visit our website to learn about invasive species, get technical information, and training, take action, register for events, and sign up to receive news. The Invasive Species Centre is the Coordinator of the Green Shovels Collaborative.
Sparks,D.,Invasive Species Centre(2023,Nov.7) Carson Trout Lepine & Greenan Lakes Association Wins Grant to Fight Invasive Plant, Phragmites [media release]