Non-native Phragmites australis is a large-scale problem that requires a collaborative regional approach. The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (GLPC) was established in 2012 to improve communication and lead to more coordinated, efficient approaches to Phragmites management, restoration and research across the region. The GLPC is a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey and Great Lakes Commission which uses the model of Collective Impact to address the large-scale, complex issues resulting from non-native Phragmites, and guide the efforts of stakeholders engaged in management and research. We present the objectives of the GLPC; review the communication tools created to support effective management and restoration; and discuss research and adaptive management tools under development to address knowledge gaps, improve coordination among and between scientists and managers, and ultimately advance a regional approach to managing non-native Phragmites in the Great Lakes.
As a Senior Program Specialist with the Great Lakes Commission (GLC), Elaine Ferrier assists in coordination of the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (GLPC) including managing online communication platforms, developing learning materials and webinars, and engaging with partners across the basin. Prior to joining the GLC, Elaine spent five years with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry where she coordinated research and policy development programs related to shoreline management and invasive species. As a volunteer, Elaine was co-chair of the Ontario Phragmites Working Group for a two-year term, leading outreach initiatives and strategic planning. She holds a Master of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Waterloo and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a specialization in policy and law from Trent University.