We are pleased to relate that Phase 2 of our Port Franks Wetland Restoration Project was completed and we made good progress last week. As part of ongoing efforts to control Phragmites, the Municipality of Lambton Shores, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority treated properties adjacent to Outer Drive and Mud Creek as well as private lands within the project area. The Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group worked alongside the stakeholders, along with longtime partner in control Dr. Janice Gilbert of the Invasive Phragmites Control Center who has extensive experience in the restoration of wetlands in environmentally sensitive areas. This project began September 2021. In the first year’s phase, plants in selected dry areas were treated to control the growth and limit the spread of Phragmites. Just under 5 ha of phragmites were treated during phase one.
The second phase of the project in fall 2022 focused on control of Phragmites in aquatic habitats along with follow-up treatment on the areas controlled last year. A public information session was held August 30th at the community centre prior to initiating this second phase. Mother Nature tried to set us back, with heavy rains and a blocked Mud Creek mouth causing difficult conditions in the hard to access L Lake wetland. A combination of efforts with IPCC using a fat truck and jon boat, along with NCC using a marsh master and jon boat, served to make good inroads. Areas along the Ausable were also treated. Now. . . we wait to see the results! Let’s hope that a major blow has been levelled at this aggressive invasive reed. Due to the difficult – and hazardous – access we don’t have a lot of pictures of the work. A quick scan of the photos really shows why completing this work has been such a big project to organize and initiate.