Invasive Phragmites

Quick Summary – What are Invasive Phragmites? (Phragmites australis subsp. australis)

Georgian Bay is home to some of the Canada's most pristine coastal wetlands. Many creatures and organisms depend on these wetlands for life-sustaining activities like food and foraging, nurseries, spawning, shade, and shelter. Invasive Phragmites is a significant threat in Ontario and we are particularly concerned about its effects on the health of Georgian Bay's coastal wetlands. In 2015, we helped over 16 communities in Georgian Bay work on controlling this invasive species. In 2016, we easily doubled the amount of this invasive that was removed from Georgian Bay coastal wetlands. We reported over-all results on the program for 2016 in our 2017 Spring newsletter and in the 2016 Annual Report . Now on our fifth year, GBF has helped communities removed over 35,000 kilograms of invasive Phragmites from Georgian Bay shorelines. 2017 results are being compiled and will soon be released.

Learn about this invasive plant, volunteer for a cut, and/or find out how you can join a community group to fight to invasive Phragmites.

  • Very successful invasive grass/plant (reed from Europe) that spreads easily and out competes native plants
  • Although typically thought of as marshy, this plant thrives in many conditions (even harsh) and has no natural controls
  • Nutrient bully, disperses chemical from roots that harm other plants
  • Frequently grows densely and develops into LARGE Mono-Dominant stands where it is an impossible habitat for the survival of many native species – virtual ‘Dead Zones’.
  • Can grow in excess of 15 ft. high blocking views, access ways to waterfronts, and creating municipal visual hazards
  • Seeds and stolons are easily distributed by wind (10 km radius), flowing water, and through human interaction usually from moving heavy equipment.
  • Spread is rapid and facilitated by road construction where you often see stands of Phragmites in culverts and ditches
  • Difficult, but not impossible to stop. The more we leave it, the more difficult and expensive the clean-up of the invasive phragmites will become. Become a Phragbuster!

Phragmites in Georgian Bay:

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