Providing regional coordination for local management

GLPC Editor’s Note: This case study showcases locally-focused management that is supported by a volunteer-led regional coordinating body. This model is most applicable for groups that are able to spend time communicating and building relationships among local government officials and community members.

Authors: Nancy Vidler and Bill MacDonald



Lambton Shores is located along the south-eastern coastline of Like Huron

In 2009, when non-native Phragmites appeared on the Port Franks beach in southwest Ontario, two beach associations got together to form the Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group (LSPCG). The LSPCG initiated a regional strategy to manage non-native Phragmites throughout the Municipality of Lambton Shores (MLS), a 331 square kilometer area located in the southeast basin of Lake Huron. This area contains many provincially significant and globally rare natural habitats including coastal dunes and wetlands, Carolinian core forest, and oak savannah that the LSPCG wants to protect from invasion by non-native Phragmites.


Non-native Phragmites stands were identified throughout the community. Map by Lindsay Hayes

Large monoculture stands of non-native Phragmites are present along the Lake Huron shoreline, interior wetlands, roadsides, agricultural ditches and drains, lagoons, golf courses and parks. As of 2015, over 323 acres of coastal shorelines and 167 km (105 miles) of roadsides were infested. Due to the extensive area, diverse land ownership, multiple jurisdictions, and differing stages of non-native Phragmites management, the MLS was divided into seven Phragmites Management Areas (PMAs). For some PMAs, restoration programs are already well underway while other have only just initiated management. Overall, the LSPCG initiated remediation work on over 300 acres by the end of 2014.

The LSPCG was recognized by the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change with an Honourable Mention for Environmental Achievement in 2013, and by Lambton Wildlife Inc., and the Lambton County Museum for its achievements. The group also received Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority’s 2016 Conservationist of the Year award.ABCA Conservationist New


Eleven components for successful projects within the MLS:
  1. understand the scope of the problem,
  2. establish of a Program Coordinator position,
  3. acquire sufficient funds,
  4. implement of an education program,
  5. engage the local community,
  6. use appropriate initial control techniques and follow up as necessary,
  7. establish a long term control program,
  8. track activities, efficacy, success, and challenges,
  9. list non-native Phragmites as a noxious weed
  10. expand the control program outside of the Municipal jurisdiction, and
  11. obtain herbicides appropriate and legal for overwater use.