A story from the frontline of the war on Phragmites

GBF is supporting the Honey Harbour Association's Ambassador Program by training 2 students to educate and help community members to identify and remove invasive Phragmites in Honey Harbour using the selective cut method. Leading the effort for Honey Harbour is Kathryn Davis, longtime local Phragmites leader and Honey Harbour Association Director. She and GBF are passionate about removing invasive Phragmites, a reed originally from Europe, which has no natural controls and quickly grows into very dense and tall monocultures which threaten biodiversity, wetland functioning, and recreational access to the beautiful coastal shorelines we all enjoy. To read more about invasive Phragmites, please click this link.

Great Phragbusting in Honey Harbour 2016!

There have been many great scenes of the Honey Harbour community and ambassadors taking on this terrible invasive reed this summer. Travelling cottage to cottage, and attending many talks, Kristin and Robert took the time to educate members of the community to remove these plants with a process that aims to do the 'Most good, with the least amount of harm.'

As Kristin Koetsier puts it, "The number of phrag stands cropping up in Honey Harbour can at first seem overwhelming, but it’s amazing how quickly these stands can be cut when there’s a large enough group of volunteers! I really believe that it’s possible for our community to keep phrag under control, but it’s going to require a high level of involvement - that’s why it’s so important to get the information out there and reach out to your neighbours.”.

Meet the Ambassador Students...

Kristin Koetsier just completed her undergraduate education at the University of Western Ontario, where she received an Honours Bachelor of Science, Double Major in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Health, as well as a Music Performance Diploma in piano. She will be continuing her studies at the University of Waterloo this coming school year, pursuing a Master of Climate Change. She is passionate about protecting the biodiversity of Georgian Bay as a lifelong cottager in Honey Harbour.

Robert Davis. His family cottages in Cognashene, and he just completed an arduous physical job in tree-planting in Timmins, northern Ontario before moving on to Phragbusting. He just graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in Geography and has a keen interest in the ecology of Southern Georgian Bay.

Sometimes the cuts were larger then individual landowners could cope with by themselves.

Robert, Kristin, and Kathryn organized cut days where members of the community could come and help. On August 6th, cuts were done in the South Bay, and on August 13th, cuts were done in the Bide-a-Wee channel. We asked Robert Davis what he enjoyed most about working with the community around invasive Phragmites. "This project has been very rewarding. We've been getting positive feedback by helping community members on how to do cuts along with helping concerned cottagers properly identify phrag. Who knew a summer chest deep in swamps could be so much fun!"

Thanks Honey Harbour for helping protect Georgian Bay wetlands!


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Georgian Bay Forever is a charity that funds and supports scientific research and education that protects and enhances the waters of Georgian Bay, as part of the Great Lakes. Our vision is that Georgian Bay waters are healthy and thriving for future generations. Learn more about how you can support out work.