Read on to meet 4 students and the new Phragmites Coordinator who are helping to protect shorelines and coastal wetlands from the invasive plant Phragmites. If Phragmites are left to grow with no management action, small stands quickly grow into 'walls' up to 15 ft high and up to densities of 200 stems per metre, threatening plant diversity and habitat for many species including those at risk. And, it can quickly impede your enjoyment of the shoreline by making it difficult to access the water or enjoy the biodiversity of a natural wetland. The students will be working with community leaders and volunteers to tackle and monitor as much of the 711 stands that were mapped (recorded) in our 2020 season, primarily in Tay Township and in the Township of Georgian Bay. Last year, we saw great success reducing the number and size of Phragmites stands. (To read the 2020 report by community, please click here.) We are so thankful to our financial partners in working to eradicate Phragmites on the coasts which include: Honey Harbour Association, the Cognashene Cottagers' Association , the Township of Georgian Bay , Tay Township,and thanks to GBF donors.With that context, we are so pleased to have these environmentally educated students join the GBF team! We asked them what drives them to to this work, and here is what they said:
Nicole Carpenter – Phragmites Coordinator and Summer Phragmites Student Manager
Nicole Carpenter grew up in Oro-Medonte. She has spent the majority of her time outdoors and on the water developing a great passion toward preserving the natural environment. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Freshwater Biology, minoring in Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Analysis from the University of Guelph where she developed a strong understanding in the importance of preserving and protecting our Great Lakes. GBF asked her about what drives her passion for Georgian Bay and interest in Georgian Bay Forever.
"I have always been keen on exploring Ontario’s Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves as well as canoeing, kayaking and swimming in the Great Lakes. Some of my fondest memories were spent with friends and family on the waters of Georgian Bay.
When I learned about Georgian Bay Forever, I knew it was a team I wanted to be a part of to help protect these waters. As the Phragmites and Matchedash Bay Project Coordinator with Georgian Bay Forever I believe I can have a positive impact on the aquatic ecosystem’s that lay there."