Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative
The non-native grass species Phragmites australis is a large-scale problem that requires a collaborative regional approach. The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (GLPC) is a joint effort by the US Geological Survey and the Great Lakes Commission as well as representatives from multiple government agencies and non-profit organizations. Since 2012, the GLPC has worked to improve communication, increase efficiency in Phragmites control, develop a program of adaptive management, and facilitate restoration across the region. As a partnership, the GLPC addresses complex social, economic and ecological issues resulting from invasive Phragmites. These issues include habitat degradation, loss of ecological function, loss of endangered and threatened species habitat, increased fire risk, loss of recreation opportunities, reduced access to shorelines, and changes to coastal processes.
The GLPC is structured and guided by the framework of Collective Impact. Under this framework, the Great Lakes Commission acts as a backbone organization to coordinate a diverse range of partners with varying interests and viewpoints; leadership committees have been developed; a Charter has been approved; and members are working toward building a Common Agenda which will include a shared understanding of the problem and a mutually agreed-upon approach to solving it.
Through this partnership, the GLPC has developed centralized communication and outreach materials; streamlined information transfer and reduced redundancy; provided a forum for researchers; created linkages between scientific research and management; facilitated connections between diverse partners across the region; encouraged site prioritization to maximize the benefits of control work; and supported restoration of wetland and terrestrial sites following Phragmites control efforts.
In a new initiative called the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF), the GLPC will be working with land managers across the region to develop a centralized monitoring protocol, a database to track management effectiveness, and a state and transition model which will provide partners with recommendations specific to their site conditions. This groundbreaking program will be the first wide scale application of adaptive management for invasive Phragmites.
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