Update: Ground herbicide application for Phragmites control commenced on September 25, 2017 at Rondeau Provincial Park.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (`the ministry`) has recognized Phragmites australis as a significant threat to biodiversity and Species at Risk at Long Point and Rondeau coastal marshes. Using currently available management tools, the ministry has been working with several partners in an attempt to eradicate invasive Phragmites from these locations. Efforts have been unsuccessful in controlling the spread of Phragmites, primarily due to the lack of a registered herbicide for use in Canada in wet areas.
The ministry is entering its second subsequent year of an Emergency Use Registration of herbicide to treat Phragmites in aquatic environments. Approval was obtained from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency for the treatment of up to 1000 hectares of phragmites combined between the Long Point Region and Rondeau Provincial Park. Treatment will occur in the Long Point Region using a combination of aerial and ground application equipment. Application was approved for August 15 to October 31st, 2017, however the bulk of treatment will occur in the month of September.
The initiation and continuation in 2017 of this pilot project at Rondeau and Long Point is based on the presence of significant natural values and the observed exponential growth of Phragmites in these coastal marshes. Local biologists and scientists have advised that the health of these coastal marshes is at a critical tipping point. If immediate action is not taken, the provincial, national and global significant values for which these areas are recognized will be permanently lost. Due to the aggressive nature of the invasive plant, if efforts to eradicate are not continued in 2017 the plant will recolonize in areas treated in 2016.