Province gifts Friends of Second Marsh $34,000 to “De-Phrag” Oshawa’s McLaughlin Bay

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Published October 17, 2022 at 10:12 am

Friends of Second Marsh and the provincial environment ministry are teaming up to ‘de-phrag’ the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve in Oshawa.

The province is investing more than $34,000 in an invasive species removal project in Oshawa through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund, one of 38 community-based projects across Ontario that will split $1.9 million this year.

“We’re excited to be a recipient of the provincial Great Lakes Local Action Fund for our Let’s De-Phrag the Marsh! Project,” Friends of Second Marsh said on social media. “Thank you for funding this important initiative. We’re ready to start some work managing Invasive Phragmites.”

Phragmites (European Common Reed) is an invasive perennial grass that has been damaging ecosystems in Ontario for decades. It is not clear how it was transported to North America from its native home in Eurasia, but it is an aggressive plant that spreads quickly and out-competes native species for water and nutrients. It also releases toxins from its roots into the soil to hinder the growth of and kill surrounding plants.

The provincial grant to Friends of Second Marsh and its team of community volunteers and professionals is aimed removing the invasive plant from McLaughlin Bay in Oshawa’s extreme south-east corner, right in front of the former General Motors headquarters building.

The Second Marsh Wildlife Area is a 137 hectare wetland on Oshawa’s eastern waterfront, the largest urban wetland inn the GTA and the biggest between Niagara and Presqu’ile. Combined with McLaughlin Bay and the adjacent Darlington Provincial Park, the area represents 400 hectares of publicly accessible wetlands habitat that supports some 380 plant species, 305 bird species and a host of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects.

Other projects being funded this year include the Georgian Bay Forever shoreline clean-up; a Watersheds Canada tree planting initiative along the St. Lawrence River; and Oakvillegreen, a rain garden building project.

Since 2021 the Province has committed $3.8 million through the Great Lakes Local Action Fund to support 82 projects in communities across Ontario.

Projects funded in the first phase included The Litter and Plastics Challenge: Every Piece Counts in Pickering, a shoreline clean-up with youth volunteers.

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