Our Action Plan
The Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group (LSPCG) was created in 2012 by a diverse group of retired professionals after they had undertaken successful control of invasive Phragmites along their Port Franks shoreline, work that began in 2009. These dedicated volunteers realized that protecting their coastline long-term was not feasible without a concerted effort throughout the entire region. They were also concerned about the presence of Phragmites within the Species At Risk (SAR) wetland habitat throughout their community. Since inception, the LSPCG has partnered with the Municipality of Lambton Shores, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Lambton County, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, Lambton Centre, five cottage associations, the local agricultural community, local naturalists and Grand Bend and other horticulture groups. As a result of these partnerships, a number of wetland enhancement projects involving Phragmites control are currently ongoing. The LSPCG has organized educational workshops, engaged in numerous outreach events and successfully obtained funding from government and private entities. Our grass roots organization has a proven track record for facilitating and managing Phragmites control efforts in an effective, efficient and environmentally responsible manner to enhance Lake Huron coastal wetlands.
More about our projects
The Ipperwash Phrag Phighters
An important component of Phragmites management is getting control of the plant when it first appears in an area.
The Ipperwash Phrag Phighters group was formed in May 2016 by concerned property owners and cottage renters when it became apparent Phragmites was spreading along the beach and dunes, and action needed to be taken.
A public information meeting was quickly scheduled for August of that year.
In the Ipperwash area, the growth of Phragmites is sparse and spread out over a distance of 2-3 kilometres. It was therefore decided that spading would be the best method for controlling its spread along the beach and dunes.
The first spading endeavour, in September 2016, attracted 13 volunteers. Only one section of the beach was spaded.
The second spading event had 38 volunteers from the Ipperwash community, the MNRF Stewardship Youth Ranger Crew, the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, the Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group, the Centre Ipperwash Community Association, and the Ipperwash Phrag Phighters. Juvenile Phragmites plants were successfully spaded and collected to be properly disposed of. At this time, two other invasive plants were also removed from the beach and dunes: Sweet White Clover and Spotted Knapweed. The whole length of the beach was covered, from West Ipperwash Road to Army Camp Road.
Ipperwash now has a monitoring unit with the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF). This group will be looking at best practices for managing Phragmites in the Great Lakes Basin as a whole. Monitoring of Phragmites will be ongoing and spading will continue to be the control method used at Ipperwash.
An educational pilot project, in partnership with the MNRF, took place using spraying and rolling of Phragmites in a dry swale in Center Ipperwash. Although the treatment was effective, a second spraying is required to eradicate the regrowth. This has been costly and the area which was dry is now wet. At the current time the government of Canada has not approved chemical application for aquatic sites. Until this happens treatment options for wetland swales are limited.
It is imperative that the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, the Ipperwash Phrag Phighters, or the Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group be contacted if you see Phragmites on your property, even in wet sites. We need to be prepared to act quickly once approval is given for herbicide spraying in aquatic sites.
The continued support of the Ipperwash community, and the local and provincial groups mentioned above, is greatly appreciated.
To learn more about the Ipperwash Phrag Phighters, visit the Centre Ipperwash Community Association's site here.
Fighting Phragmites in Port Franks: a report
An important component of Phragmites management is the ongoing touch up of previously treated areas.
Since beginning restoration work in 2012, the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority staff working with Frank LeTourneau from Dover Agri-serve and the Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group continues to monitor and treat Phragmites in Port Franks.
High water levels have created a challenging situation! In Canada we do not have chemicals approved for use in aquatic sites. Last summer, an Emergency Use Permit for these chemicals was approved for Long Point and Rondeau Provincial Park by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. Extensive monitoring is a component of this project and results have been positive. We hope to have access to these chemicals in 2018. The areas In Port Franks where high water levels have prevented restoration are some locations along the Ausable River, the Nature Conservancy Canada property on Outer Drive and the Municipal and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority properties at L Lake and along Mud Creek adjacent to the Lambton Heritage Forest.
Treatment of Phragmites is very site specific and our goal is to manage this invasive in the most efficient, effective and environmentally responsible manner.
Jill Crosthwaite from NCC, states that an application to renew the Letter of Opinion (exemption from the Pesticide Act) first issued in 2012 has been submitted to the MNRF and NCC hopes to be able to tackle the Phragmites on their property in 2018. Jill states this area “is still a priority” for NCC but water levels were “too high to do any control this year”.
ABCA staff working with their contractor have completed most of the touch up required this year in the Ausable River using an air boat. The balance will be treated this fall by ABCA staff who will do backpack spraying.
The Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group and the Port Franks Beach Homeowners Association continue to monitor the beach and spade regrowth.
The MNRF Stewardship Youth Ranger Crew helped spade Phragmites in Sunfish Bay, Windsor Park and the ABCA staff has treated the municipal roadsides along Outer Drive and Superior Street in the village of Port Franks.
With funding from the National Wetland Conservation Fund, educational signs have been posted at the beach and the municipal boat launch. Workshops have also been offered for front line staff and Bird Studies Canada delivered a Marsh Monitoring Workshop.
In dealing with any invasive plant “early detection and rapid response” is critical! Please contact the ABCA or the LSPCG if you see Phragmites on your property. Thanks to the residents of Port Franks for their continued support of our projects.
Ipperwash Beach Spading Day: Phragmites and More!
Click below to view photos and information from our recent (and may we add extremely successful!) spading day in Ipperwash!
Our goal of controlling this invasive species is only possible through strong support from our volunteers and sponsors.