Phragmites control program expanding into Big Creek watershed

The Long Point Phragmites Action Alliance is calling on landowners in the lower Big Creek watershed for help with the Long Point region phragmites control program.Phragmites is an aggressive invasive plant that can harm local plants and animals, and impact farm crops and operations by clogging drains and blocking access to irrigation ponds.Since 2015, the alliance has implemented a management approach for controlling invasive phragmites in the Long Point. The control work has been focused in the marshes at Long Point and Turkey Point to restore biodiversity to the globally significant ecosystems.In 2019, the program is expanding into the Big Creek watershed to control scattered patches of phragmites that exist.“What we’re trying to do is engage land owners in the phase one area,” said Brett Norman, co-ordinator of the Big Creek phragmites control program. “Right now, we’re doing a door-to-door approach, but anyone interested in being part of the program can reach out to us.”Anyone within the control area can have phragmites on their property removed for free. Depending on the extent of phragmites on a property, removal could cost from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, according to the alliance.The Big Creek program currently is only available for landowners in the lower Big Creek area. In future years, the program will move up the watershed.Just one phragmite seed head can produce up to 10,000 viable seeds that are carried on the wind to new locations.Norman said it doesn’t take long for phragmites to spread.“It’s a very aggressive plant,” he said. “It grows in inches and feet per day, it spreads very rapidly. Even a small patch wouldn’t take long to dominate, say, an irrigation pond.”Interested landowners are asked to contact the alliance at bigcreekphrag@gmail.com.

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