There’s a villain in our watershed. It lurks in our wetlands, along roadsides and beach shorelines. And you have the power to stop it.

Phragmites (Phragmites australis) might not look like much. But its Instagrammable good looks are deceiving. It stands tall and thin in dense stands, capped by delicate seed heads that sway gently in the breeze. Each seed head contains up to 2,000 seeds. Every puff of wind has the potential to spread thousands of these aggressive, invasive reeds into our wetlands and across the province.

The rapid spread of Phragmites is destroying our wetlands. The reeds can grow six metres tall and so thick a turtle can’t push through to get to the water. That is, if there’s any water left. Phragmites can decrease wetland water levels severely. It also releases a toxin from its roots that destroys surrounding native vegetation.

Wetlands are vibrant and diverse ecosystems. They provide habitat and food sources for wildlife and enhance water quality. They offer us one of the first joyful sounds of spring —the song of spring peepers— and the thrill of being startled by a heron taking flight. Phragmites threatens to destroy all of this, but together we have the superpowers to stop it.

Join us for Deep in the Reeds, a free webinar on how to stop the spread of Phragmites on your property and in your community. Hear stories from local organizations taking up the fight against the Phrag and learn what you can do to get involved.

You may not be saving a damsel in distress, but you’ll be saving the home of damselflies, and that’s pretty important too.

Deep in the Reeds: How to stop the spread of invasive Phragmites

  • Free Webinar
  • Tuesday, August 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Register here

By: CVC’s Calantha Elsby, Specialist, Environmental Outreach

Comments (2)

  1. The worst thing is that city workers/ engineers and their teams/ etc. do not even know that with their heavy machinery and development of grasslands and wetlands all around, they are contributing to spread it even more everywhere they go. Sad, but true. I approached several of them in an invasive Pump they are building on the creek of Lisgar trail/sixteen mile creek, this was before COVID, of course, and they did not even know what a Phragmite is. =(

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