Let’s De-Phrag The Marsh! Project

The 2019 Second Marsh Invasive Species Management Plan (Draft) identified Phragmites australis (Phragmites) as a priority invasive species in the Second Marsh that requires attention:  “Phragmites has had major ecosystem effects on coastal wetlands throughout the Great Lakes and is one of the priority invasive species for Oshawa Second Marsh”.

Phragmites is a dominant introduced perennial grass that was introduced to North America from Eurasia. It spreads quickly and grows in dense monocultures decreasing biodiversity by displacing native plants. To learn more about Phragmites, please visit our Learn More page.

In 2019, Friends of Second Marsh (FSM) commenced a multi-year project called Let’s De-Phrag the Marsh! to manage Phragmites in Oshawa Second Marsh, McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve and surrounding areas.

The overall project objectives for our Let’s the De-Phrag the Marsh! are:

  • To restore the quality and quantity of wildlife habitats within Provincially Significant Wetland Oshawa Second Marsh (OSM), nearby natural areas and their watersheds to conditions before Phragmites australis (Phragmites) was present
  • To reduce estimated current Phragmites cover from 20% to 2% of area
  • To engage and educate nearby property owners and the community about Phragmites, its impact and management
  • To establish on-going Phragmites monitoring and alert protocol for OSM, nearby natural areas and their watersheds

In 2020, after an onsite visit and consultation with Dr. Janice Gilbert from Invasive Phragmites Control Centre (IPCC) our work began in Zone 1 of the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve. To view our work to date, please take a look here: Let’s the De-Phrag the Marsh! McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve – Zone 1

What We are Doing

FSM used a strategic and science-based approach to create a multi-year zone-by-zone plan that includes:

  • Mapping and monitoring at regular intervals with FSM staff, members and community volunteers
  • Appropriate management actions with emphasis on most proven, effective and least intrusive method for each unique terrain and habitat
  • Considering funding availability that is balanced from various government, corporate and like-minded organization sources
  • Graduated expansion or contraction as stakeholders and property owners get on board and funding capacity allows
  • Incorporating lessons-learned in project next steps and similar future invasive species management projects
  • Celebrating milestones to mark significant progress toward our goals

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