A truxor cuts down phragmites in the water

Fundraising to battle phragmites along the local Lake Huron shore

A fundraising campaign is underway to help battle the invasive phragmites within Oliphant’s coastal environments.

Invasive phragmites pose a serious threat to the environment, outcompeting native plants and destroying habitat for fish, birds and reptiles.

The plant grows up to five meters tall with large red seed heads in wetlands, along shorelines and in ditches, and can block shoreline access and views.

The Oliphant Fishing Islands Phragmites Working Group and Grey Sauble Conservation Authority are partnering for the third summer in the battle against phragmites. Last year two amphibious cutting machines called Truxors from the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre cut phragmites infestations around Indian Island and the Oliphant government dock.

About $5,000 has been raised so far toward the $8,000 cost to again bring in the Truxors for two days of cutting, which must be done while the water level is high enough. Community Foundation Grey Bruce donated $3,000 to this year’s initiative and the Oliphant Campers Association, Friends of Oliphant Coastal Environments, Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association, and private donors added another $2,000.

It is believed phragmites arrived in Ontario in the ballast waters of ships in the 1900s. Since then it has been spread throughout Canada by boats, machinery, rivers and wildlife, and once established is difficult to remove.

Donations can be made at Grey Sauble Conservation.

Volunteers are also needed for a Phragmites cutting event this summer during the week of August 19 – 23.

Fundrasing to battle Phragmites near Oliphant