Invasive Phragmites

Since 2021, FOCA has been supporting our member Associations with funding and technical support for projects that fulfill the goals of the Green Shovels Collaborative.

On-the-ground projects undertaken by FOCA member Associations have included management, removal, and control plans for invasive Phragmites, as well as educational and awareness programming. 

Invasive Phragmites has been called Canada’s WORST invasive species. Management and eradication of invasive Phragmites has become an increasing cost for municipalities across Ontario.

Phragmites is a very tall and fast-growing perennial grass now covering nearly 17,000 hectares of shoreline, wetlands and roadsides. It creates ecological dead-zones and impacts at-risk species.

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May 2, 2024 – new round of program funding for 2024 projects: associations are encouraged to apply by May 30th for funding from the Green Shovels Collaborative for projects to take place this year, to help map and manage invasive Phragmites. There is an emphasis this year on collaborative plans – so applying together with adjoining lakes or regionally may increase your chances. Get details and apply here:

Learn about invasive Phragmites in video resources and links below, and download FOCA’s 2-page info brochure (PDF). 

March 2024 – review the posted video recordings of the Ontario Invasive Plan Council‘s virtual event with experts in the field providing information on invasive Phragmites management:

View an earlier FOCA webinar: Invasive Phragmites (June 2021). Join FOCA and Brooke Harrison of Georgian Bay Forever, discussing invasive Phragmites: its characteristics, its spread, and its controls. (Online, 1 hour)

During the webinar, attendees asked how to report areas of invasive Phragmites spotted along highways. The answer is to contact the Ontario Ministry of Transportation online, or call 416-235-4686 (Toll Free 1-800-268-4686).

Following successful projects by FOCA member Associations undertaken in 2022 with Green Shovels Collaborative  funding (learn more about the Collaborative below), FOCA was pleased to announce that we have funded a new round of  2023 proposals from our member Associations for on-the-ground projects focused on invasive Phragmites management, starting this summer and to be completed by February 2024. 

Related News: Nov.10, 2023 – Lake Wahnapitae group wins grant to fight spread of invasive plant (Sudbury Star)

Wondering how to manage invasive Phragmites? This new guide is the definite resource: Invasive Phragmites – 2021 Best Management Practices in Ontario (download PDF, 73 pages) from the Ontario Invasive Plant Council.

Learn even more about invasive Phragmites from our partners at the Invasive Species Centre.

For more from Green Shovels Collaborative partners about the projects undertaken in 2021, watch this video:

Tackling the problem of invasive Phragmites (European Common Reed):

FOCA is part of the Green Shovels Collaborative of conservation organizations that have a shared interest in protecting nature and the economy. The Green Shovels Collaborative includes:
  • Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
  • Invasive Species Centre
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Ontario Invasive Plant Council.

With funding support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, one goal of the Green Shovels Collaborative was to prepare a Strategic Framework for Phragmites Management in Ontario. The document was released in late 2021 in draft format, for public feedback:

Please note: the following is archival material, and some links to third-party resources may no longer be active.

February 28 – March 4, 2022 was Invasive Species Awareness WeekWhy should I care and what is being done about invasive species here in Ontario? Click here to download the 1 page PDF about the Ontario Phragmites story, and how the Green Shovels Collaborative is demonstrating ways to reduce the impacts of this invasive species. 

February 28, 2022: The President of the Lake Bernard Property Owners Association was interviewed to discuss the Green Shovels funding they received and the difference it will make in their fight against invasive phragmites. The article can be read, here: Volunteers look to win battle against invasive plant in Lake Bernard – North Bay News (

Aug 25, 2021 – New fund aims to control spread of invasive common reed (

July 19, 2021 – ‘It’ll wreak havoc for wildlife’: An invasive plant is threatening Canada’s northern wetlands (CTV News)

April 23, 2021 – ‘Murder of the wetlands’: Invasive phragmites spreading to Lanark County (CBC)