Sturgeon Bay takes on Phragmites thanks to local champion

Large patches of invasive Phragmites taint the shorelines of Sturgeon Bay. A local resident, Donna Deneault took notice and took action in the summer of 2017!

After reading about Phragmites from Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) and attending some training sessions including a Summer workshop by Georgian Bay Forever and the Severn Sound Environmental Association, she recruited some very hard-working volunteers, got some good local press (see article here) and facilitated some amazing rescue work. However, you'll see from this post - there is more to be done, and your help is needed!

Phragmites in Sturgeon

MASSIVE results. Clearing the way to the shorelines.

Two official cuts were organized on Saturday August 12th and Saturday August 19th last year; as well as several less formal cuts. How much was removed? More than 2 truckloads + 120 Phragmites yard waste bags - an astonishing amount of Phragmites that is now out of Sturgeon Bay and really weakening these sites for next year. An outstanding job by volunteers who care about shoreline habitat and their neighbours! They include: Donna, Verne, Andrew, Matthew, Caterina, Barb, Peter, Marsha, Ken, Peter D., Cate, the Douglases, the McArthurs, volunteers from Ducks Unlimited, and Heather and Paul. Ray Robitaille of RPM (Ray's Property Maint.) provided equipment. See the community in action and the work that still needs your help (more on this later in the post).

What can you do? Join your community as a volunteer in 2018!

While great progress was made - there is still much need for your help in 2018! We need you, because there are stands that the volunteer group could not get to without more volunteers - and these stands can be overwhelming for individual property owners. Remember the old saying, "many hands, make light work"!

Helping neighbours and shorelines are rewarding goals - AND helping also prevents future spread! This plant doesn't know borders, and if left unchecked will just keep spreading to new places you care about. Here is what you can do:

  • If you are in Tay, and want to get information about dealing with Phragmites on your shoreline, or donate, or volunteer to help your community next year, please contact GBF at this email or call 905-880-4945 x 4.
  • If you are a student in Tay looking for a job this summer helping residents manage Phragmites on the Tay shoreline, please contact GBF at this email or call 905-880-4945 x 4.
  • Community cuts in Georgian Bay. If you would like to learn about managing Phragmites in your own community for 2018, please join our email list at this sign-up page. We will notify you of training workshops for next year. To learn more about invasive Phragmites and the shoreline process for management, please visit our Phragmites home page. There may also be a Phragmites leader in your area of Georgian Bay - please check at Georgian Bay Community Phragbuster Groups.

About Georgian Bay Forever

Georgian Bay Forever is a charity that works on protecting your water through scientific research, education, partnerships, and rehabilitation efforts in Georgian Bay. One of our projects is to train, educate, and partner with communities and organizations to tackle invasive Phragmites which can take over beaches and shorelines. We're also helping to educate about beach stewardship. We're working with other organizations to get the word out on plastics and cigarette butt litter that are a real problem for Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes. To get more information, please see the links in blue below:
Beach problems Georgian Bay

  • Invasive Phragmites are taking over shorelines. Join a local Phragbuster group in your area of Georgian Bay, or reach out to us to start one.
  • Read about helping beaches in Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, by Jenni Kaija is the Assistant Ecologist for Ontario Parks.
  • Read about the Wasaga Beach cigarette Butt Free project
  • Learn about plastics. Our Lakes and Beaches are not garbage cans or ashtrays!
  • Please donate to Georgian Bay Forever! Every donation is so important to us to continue projects and education efforts that help protect the water of Georgian Bay.