Wet lands

About this Video
Scientists have called the Great Lakes the heart of Ontario, which would make their coastal wetlands the lungs. They filter out sediment from the water, and are home to a number of diverse plants and wildlife. Accord to Janice Gilbert, wetland ecologist and co-chair of the Ontario Phragmites Working Group, these sensitive ecosystems are in peril and facing hazards on a number of fronts. She joins The Agenda for 10 questions on threats to the Great Lakes wetlands.

 

 

http://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/10-questions-on-threats-to-the-great-lakes-wetlands

4
INTRODUCTION
This document was developed to help guide effective and efficient roadside ditch control of the
invasive
Phragmites australis
(European Common Reed).
Phragmites (
frag-
MY
-tees
) is an aggressively spreading grass that can reach heights of more than 5
metres and densities of over 200 plants per square metre. In 2005 it was recognized a
s Canada’s
worst invasive plant by scientists at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. Since then it has spread
throughout Ontario and become one of the most significant threats to Great Lakes coastal habitats,
where it has drastically reduced plant and animal diversity and threatens a high number of Species at
Risk (SAR).
Negative impacts on humans include reduced shoreline access, reduced recreational opportunities,
reduced aesthetic enjoyment, reduced shoreline property values and increased hazards due to fire,
and blocked site lines at road intersections. Phragmites is rapidly becoming problematic for interior
wetlands and riparian corridors. Negative effects on agricultural lands due to blocked drainage
ditches is also increasing, as is damage to asphalt roads from rhizomes, and threats to hydro
transmission from standing dead biomass catching fire.
Recent studies have identified roads and other transportation corridors along with the movement of
infested heavy equipment as the major conduits for spread. Currently Ontario lacks the coordinated
and unified approach that is required to effectively deal with Phragmites and curtail its rapidly
increasing distribution. Howeve
r, local control programs are underway in a number of Ontario’s
municipalities and by the province. The knowledge obtained through these efforts has been
summarized in this document to provide guidance to other communities looking to undertake similar
actions.
This information is intended to help reduce ineffective activities being undertaken, mistakes being
repeated and valuable funds and resources being wasted. The most important message is that
Phragmites must not be ignored
. Established Phragmites cells can expand at an exponential rate and
will eventually become problematic. The quicker an infestation is dealt with, the easier and less
costly it will be to manage. The intent of those who contributed to the development of this
document is that all communities throughout Ontario will become aware of the threat Phragmites
poses, and become engaged in effective Phragmites control efforts.
5
Definitions
Municipal Drains
A system of engineered drainage works typically established to improve
drainage issues generally within private lands of one or more land owners.
They are created under the authority of the
Drainage Act
and are managed by
the local lower tier municipality, but not Counties or Regions. (Reference:
Drainage Act
RSO 1990, Chapter D.17)
Roadside Ditches
A system of channels, some open, some piped, adjacent to municipal roads
that are designed to resolve road drainage issues only, not those of adjacent
private lands. They are maintained and controlled by the municipality that has
jurisdiction over the abutting road.
WHAT DOES INVASIVE PHRAGMITES LOOK LIKE?
Phragmites australis
is a robust
perennial grass capable of developing
into large mono-dominant stands.
————————————————————-
5
Definitions
Municipal Drains
A system of engineered drainage works typically established to improve
drainage issues generally within private lands of one or more land owners.
They are created under the authority of the
Drainage Act
and are managed by
the local lower tier municipality, but not Counties or Regions. (Reference:
Drainage Act
RSO 1990, Chapter D.17)
Roadside Ditches
A system of channels, some open, some piped, adjacent to municipal roads
that are designed to resolve road drainage issues only, not those of adjacent
private lands. They are maintained and controlled by the municipality that has
jurisdiction over the abutting road.
WHAT DOES INVASIVE PHRAGMITES LOOK LIKE?
Phragmites australis
is a robust
perennial grass capable of developing
into large mono-dominant stands.