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phragmitesInvasive Phragmites grows up to 5 meters tall with large red seed heads in wetlands, along shorelines and in ditches. It is a serious threat to the environment, outcompeting native plants and destroying habitat for fish, birds and reptiles. It also makes it challenging for people to enjoy properties, impacts tourism and poses safety concerns because it blocks shoreline access and can decrease visibility. It is believed to have arrived in Ontario in the ballast waters of ships in the 1900’s. Since then it has been spread throughout Canada by boats, machinery, rivers and wildlife, and once established is difficult to remove.

The Oliphant Fishing Islands Phragmites Working Group (OFIPWG) and Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) are partnering for the third summer in the battle against Phragmites within Oliphant’s coastal environments. Last year two amphibious cutting machines called Truxors from the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre cut Phragmites infestations around Indian Island and the Oliphant government dock.

OFIPWG and GSCA would like to thank Community Foundation Grey Bruce for their generous donation of $3,000 to this year’s initiative and would also like to recognize Oliphant Campers Association, Friends of Oliphant Coastal Environments, Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association, and private donors for their support and participation, raising a total of approximately $5,000 so far!

They are half way there to meet their goal of bringing in the Truxors for two days of cutting. This equipment costs $8,000 per day to rent and it is essential to cut while the water levels are high and before more spreading can occur.

OFIPWG and GSCA are asking for your help to achieve this goal! Donations can be made over the phone by calling
Grey Sauble Conservation at 519-376-3076 or by visiting the Canada Helps page at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/id/5364/ Charitable tax receipts are available.

Volunteers are also needed for a Phragmites cutting event this summer during the week of August 19 – 23.

For more information on invasive Phragmites or how to get involved please contact Rebecca Ferguson at 519-376-3076 ext. 247.

source: media release, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority

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