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.

This year - 2018 - is our 6th year helping communities around Georgian Bay fight invasive Phragmites. By training and sharing information with over 30 communities and partners, more than 48,000 kilograms have been removed from Georgian Bay shorelines. Join us as a volunteer this summer for what promises to be the GBF's biggest Phragbusting effort on Georgian Bay to date.

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
  • In Ontario, it is illegal to import, deposit, release, breed/grow, buy, sell, lease or trade invasive Phragmites (Phragmites australis subsp. australis). More info at Ontario.ca
  • 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:

Funding and assistance for this Georgian Bay Forever project, Phragmites Eradication for the Health of our Water and Wetlands, was provided by the Government of Ontario, Patagonia Environmental Grants Fund of Tides Foundation, Canada Summer Jobs, The Schad Foundation, Township of Georgian Bay, Tay Township and the Honey Harbour and Cognashene Cottagers Associations, and our many individual donors. We send our sincerest thanks to all for their investment in this initiative.
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