West Carling Association Wins Grant to Fight Phragmites

Invasive phragmites is an aggressive plant that spreads quickly and poses a considerable threat to Ontario’s environment and economy


The West Carling Association of Nobel was awarded $4,029 from the Green Shovels Collaborative’s Invasive Phragmites Control Fund to combat the invasive plant Phragmites.

This project joins 20 others from across Ontario supported through the Invasive Phragmites Control Fund, a granting program made possible by an expanded investment of $250,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Invasive phragmites is an aggressive plant that spreads quickly and poses a considerable threat to Ontario’s environment and economy. Phragmites outcompete native species for water and nutrients. Growing up to five metres in height and up to one metre below ground, Phragmites forms dense stands that generally provide poor habitat and food for wildlife, including several species at risk. Once established, Phragmites can degrade local environments, including reducing biological diversity, impacting infrastructure, agriculture, recreation, tourism, and public safety.

Investing in a collaborative, sustained solution to phragmites is well worth it. A 2021 study estimated total economic benefits realized by controlling phragmites could exceed $113 million annually in Ontario. An investment in scaled phragmites control would pay dividends in preventing the many costs of phragmites to Ontario through reduced agricultural production, reduced public access to water, increased flooding, and lost tourism revenue.

The West Carling Association consists of residents in Carling Township whose mission includes environmental stewardship, land use, municipal, provincial, and federal advocacy. Their project, Survey, Control and Monitor of Invasive Phragmites in Carling Township Coastal Areas, is an ongoing, collaborative project using proven strategies to complete surveys of the Carling Township coastline, which is estimated to be 220 kilometres long. They anticipate the elimination of seven known stands of coastal invasive phragmites and will continue ongoing monitoring and management of infested sites.

“This project will establish a clear baseline of our coastal phragmites presence, invoke eradication strategies, and become the basis of ongoing monitoring which will use citizen science with organized group oversight to firewall our township coastal regions and prevent spread inland,” said Richard Wilson, West Carling Association.

Learn more about the Invasive Phragmites Control Fund here.