With a broad partnership base (see Partnerships and Administration), a number of management objectives surfaced. Initially, homeowners focused on reducing the potential impacts of non-native Phragmites on property values. As the partnership expanded, the focus grew to reducing the impacts on sensitive coastal dunes and wetlands, which are environmentally and economically significant to this area.

Controlling a patch of non-native Phragmites within a sensitive coastal dune on Port Franks beach using a hand pump backpack sprayer. Photo courtesy of LSPCG

The LSPCG uses a regional approach with the ultimate goal of a “Phragmites Free” municipality, and partners use direct management and community engagement to work toward this end. The objectives are to: control monoculture stands of non-native Phragmites along the Lake Huron shoreline and in wetlands, control the spread through vectors such as roadside ditches and drains, remove fire and traffic hazards, and eliminate harmful or ineffective management techniques.

Accomplishing these objectives will restore recreational use, aesthetics, valuable ecosystems, and native plant diversity, and will positively impact wetland-dependent species, including a number of Species at Risk. Including a focus on the MLS’s economic bases of tourism, recreation, and agriculture helps engage a broad sector of the community. However, a lack of available management tools (wetland-safe herbicides), the high cost of management, and a limited feeling of shared responsibility create challenges to achieving the ultimate goal.