GBF 2021 - Phragmites Report

14 The Township of Georgian Bay has been a focus area to GBF over the years, and results are showing that. For example, in Honey Harbour, where the Baykeeper boat is located, we are seeing 91% of the 194 sites under control, with an astonishing 58% eradicated! Honey Harbour, Cognashene, Go Home Bay, Wah Wah Taysee, and Twelve Mile Bay are all in similar situations which allows our team to focus on the southern areas such as Severn Sound and Port Severn. In 2020 we mapped 73 new sites but it is important to note that majority are not new sites, but they had never been mapped before. GBF is able to focus the field season in new areas as less time was required cutting. In 2020, 41 additional sites were found in the Port Severn area (total 87). Also, 35 additional sites were found across previously mapped areas. Most of these sites were small in scale, and will be easily dispatched next year. This shows the importance of tackling more sites and getting ahead of the spread, which with the support requested is possible. In total for 2020, there are now 432 sites in ToGB, 241 of them being active infestations. Lily Pond is a provincially significant wetland that was inundated with invasive Phragmites . In 2018 and 2019, with combined Township and GBF donor support, over 45,000 kilograms of invasive Phragmites was removed from this provincially significant wetland using Truxors (special machines employed when the volume and density of Phragmites is well beyond manual cutting capabilities of staff and volunteers). Not only has water/habitat returned, but the small amount of Phragmites that came back on the land in 2020 was now possible to be cut by GBF trained volunteers from Honey Harbour. In 2019, as we developed individual site plans for every single stand, one of the goals was to spend additional time in southern regions in Township of Georgian Bay, which we completed. Due to COVID-19 we were unable to host any community cuts or attend education outreach events, however many community members stepped up to cut stands near them, and this is the ultimate goal of the program. GBF purchased additional hand cutting tools in 2020 to be lent or given out to property owners to remove stands. Moving forward, property owners will continue to control small stands to alleviate GBF staff time to focus on the huge stands, and make this a community led program. In 2021, truxors will be brought to Quarry Island, an area that has been identified as being too large to control by hand and too deep for manual control. Additionally, two summer students will be hired to continue to map and control Phragmites stands in Township of Georgian Bay.