Cottagers clean up Phragmites and plastic pollution in Nares Inlet

One of the environmental events last year was a Phragmites-pulling party in Nares Inlet, led by Heather Sargeant (above right) of Georgian Bay Forever, and hosted by Andrew and Andrea Kolody.

The location of the suspicious Phragmites was in the upper end of Nares Inlet just southeast of Springhaven Lodge. The largest patch looked suspiciously like it might be the native variety because the stalks were thinner, had a tinge of red at the base of the stem and was not yet in flower. Samples were taken by GBF for laboratory analysis and that patch was left alone. There were a few stalks that were clearly  the invasive variety and they were taken out.

Andrew Kolody of Nares helped organize the Nares cleanup

But we discovered that along this shore was also a lot of “flotsam and jetsam,” the sailing term for garbage! So, after investigating the Phragmites patch, the volunteers (about 20 of us in total) proceeded to go in small boats into the little embayments, hop out of their crafts (some with waders, some without) and collect debris.

Several boatloads of garbage were collected in about 45 minutes and then taken by several cars to the transfer station. Much of it was styrofoam, both large chunks and tiny pieces. The rest was foam shoes, fishing lines, beverage cans and plastic bottles, plastic engine oil bottles, styrofoam worm containers (from fishing) and some floating food waste.

What can you do?

This tells us a thing or two about human behavior, and also about how our shorelines collect anything that gets thrown into the water (especially west-facing shorelines, like any little bay that faces the sunset). For more information about Phragmites contact our representative Frank Pointner: 905-873-1583,