The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (‘the ministry’) has recognized Phragmites as a significant threat to biodiversity and Species at Risk at Long Point and Rondeau coastal marshes. Using currently available management tools, the ministry has been working with several partners in an attempt to eradicate invasive Phragmites from these locations. Efforts to date have been unsuccessful in controlling the spread of Phragmites, primarily due to the lack of a registered herbicide for use in Canada in wet areas.
To date, over two million dollars has been invested by the ministry and partners to control Phragmites at Long Point and Rondeau. Control efforts in dry areas are compromised by the inability to control Phragmites populations in adjacent aquatic areas. Further, the majority of Phragmites infestations at Long Point and Rondeau occur in aquatic areas.
To address the continued and exponential growth of Phragmites in aquatic areas in Rondeau Provincial Park and the Long Point region, the ministry submitted an application to Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency for an Emergency Use Registration to allow for aerial and ground application of an herbicide (active ingredient glyphosate). Aerial herbicide application by helicopter is the preferred method to access the remote and sensitive terrain at the majority of sites at Rondeau and Long Point. It can be used safely and is the most efficient method of treating infestations far from roads, trails, and on otherwise un-drivable terrain.
In June 2016, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry received approval from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency for an emergency use registration of glyphosate to treat Phragmites within shoreline and wetland habitats at Rondeau Provincial Park and at specific sites in the Long Point region as part of a pilot project. Implementation of the pilot project was scheduled to occur between September 1 and October 31, 2016. This pilot project will build upon previous and on-going Phragmites control efforts that have been undertaken at the two sites in terrestrial habitats.
Information provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: “Invasive Phragmites Control at Long Point and Rondeau Provincial Park” Emergency Use Registration Implementation Plan, 2016.