Environment Minister Announces Funding For “Impede the Reed” Conservation Project In Georgian Bay Islands National Park

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Invasive phragmites stand on shoreline of Beausoleil Island. Photo courtesy of Parks Canada

Catherine McKenna, minister of Environment and Climate Change and minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced funding for the “Impede the Reed” conservation program, which aims to help address invasive phragmites and improve the water quality within and surrounding Georgian Bay Islands National Park, on May 23.

The “Impede the Reed” conservation program will target the removal of invasive phragmites over the next four years through the development of long-term monitoring systems and by preventing the plant from re-establishing itself. Phragmites are an aggressive plant that grow in dense swaths along shorelines, in wetlands, and in ditches, reaching heights of up to five metres tall. The roots release toxins into the soil to inhibit the growth of other plants, which allows it to out-compete native species. Due to the height and density of phragmites, the plants act as a barrier against native wildlife seeking shelter and food, according to the release.

Canada’s national parks play a critical role in shaping our national identity, protecting nature and wildlife, and fighting climate change,” McKenna said. “The funding announced today is a great example of the work we are doing to protect and restore our natural heritage places, while engaging Canadians to become involved and help protect our nature.”

To learn more about Georgian Bay Islands National Park, click here.

Parks Canada staff member monitoring invasive phragmites stand. Photo courtesy of Parks Canada

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