Oshawa Second Marsh is identified by the Province of Ontario as a Provincially Significant Wetland and together with McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, a Life Sciences— Area of Natural and Scientific Interest.
In 2022, Invasive Phragmites is estimated to cover less than 20% of the Let’s De-phrag the Marsh! Project area. Though some areas are infested with dense Invasive Phragmites stands, the relatively low overall area of infestation and the various proven effective management methods make FSM confident that Invasive Phragmites eradication is still feasible at this site.
Further, the cooperation and interest of adjacent and watershed property owners makes FSM optimistic that we can work together to prevent re-infestation. Both urgency-to-act and re-infestation management are key to overall project success. Taking action now makes the problem less dire, less expensive, more feasible and shorter times to habitat recovery. Expanding the project area to potential nearby re-infestation sources ensures minimal management once Invasive Phragmites is eradicated from the most sensitive and valuable natural habitats.
In 2019, Friends of Second Marsh (FSM) designed a multi-year project to eradicate Invasive Phragmites from Oshawa’s valuable natural heritage areas. The main long-term goals for the Let’s De-phrag the Marsh! project are:
1) Eliminate Invasive Phragmitesfrom Oshawa Second Marsh, nearby natural areas, and contamination sources,
2) Increase productive habitats for wildfowl, shorebirds, and other flora and fauna species including Species At Risk,
3) Raise awareness with the community and stakeholders of the unique natural experiences and features
4) Educate the community on the nature of Invasive Phragmites and management actions
The varied terrain, wildlife and habitat sensitivity, number of property owners and stakeholders at this site makes managing Invasive Phragmites large and complex. Acting as a catalyst and overall project manager, FSM collaborates with many community partners and has engaged a key advisor for the Let’s De-phrag the Marsh! project: Phragmites expert Dr. Janice Gilbert, Ph.D., Wetland Ecologist and founder of the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre.
Let’s De-phrag the Marsh! Project Stakeholders – Rev. 09/2022
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 expansionor 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
As we enter 2023 and Year 4 of this project, FSM is in the process of updating its Let’s De-phrag the Marsh! Project planning. Stay tuned for updates.