SIMCOE, ON– I’m very glad to see something finally being done to help protect one of Canada’s richest biodiversity sites,” MP Diane Finley (Haldimand-Norfolk) said. “While the government was slow to act, I am thankful that they saw merit in my advocacy and the cause.”
Finley successfully secured funding for the removal of phragmites at the world biosphere at Long Point after bringing the issue to the attention of the Minister in February. In a letter outlining the importance of the biosphere and the threat that phragmites pose to the biodiversity in the region.
Finley noted that while private property owners had done their job in removing the invasive species from their property at their own cost, phragmites were still present on land that is managed by the federal government.
“This was an issue; you have to remove all the phragmites in a given area to secure the surrounding wetlands,” Finley said. “Otherwise the phragmites that are still there will quickly repopulate as they release hundreds of thousands of spores at a time and will quickly regrow in the areas already cleared and treated,” Finley added.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) will receive $375,000 over the next three years to aid in the removal and prevention of phragmites growth in this sensitive ecosystem. The money will support efforts that will benefit at least five federally listed species at risk including Fowler’s Toad, Spiny Softshell, Blanding’s Turtle, Least Bittern and Eastern Foxsnake. This project will be led by NCC and the Long Point Phragmites Action Alliance (LPPAA).
“I’m very proud that we were able to secure this funding to help conserve valuable and rare biodiversity here in Haldimand-Norfolk,” Finley concluded.