A Highly Invasive Plant Called The Water Soldier Is Invading The Trent-Severn Waterway

Water Soldier

Water Soldier

Communities along the beautiful and historic Trent-Severn Waterway may not know there is an invasive threat that has crept into the waterbody. The OFAH through its Invading Species Awareness Program wants to raise awareness about a portion of the Trent-Severn near the Hamlet of Trent River, which is home to the only known wild population of the invasive species known as water soldier in all of North America. 

Water soldier is used as an ornamental plant in water gardens—the likely source of its introduction to the Trent Severn Waterway. Water soldier forms dense mats of floating vegetation, crowding out native species and decreasing plant biodiversity. It has the potential to alter surrounding water chemistry, which may harm phytoplankton and other aquatic organisms. It can also hinder boating and angling and its sharp, serrated leaf edges can cut swimmers.

It is the OFAH's goal to stop the spread of this plant to other locations. Throughout this summer, OFAH and MNRF staff are on the water monitoring and mapping the water soldier colonies, thanks to a $35,000-grant from the Invasive Species Centre, and supported by a Water Soldier Management Plan. OFAH is putting out a call to volunteers to join them August 7th for Water Soldier Watch Day and help them track and monitor this highly invasive plant. More deets in the poster below...

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