Macomb County roadways to be treated for invasive phragmites

Phragmites can grow through paved roads, damage pavement

Phragmites (Common Reed) (Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut/

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Roadways in Macomb County will be treated for invasive phragmites after Labor Day.

The reed can grow up to 20 feet high and thrives in roadside ditches and shoulders. In 2017, Monroe County deputies rescued a missing woman who had become entangled in phragmites and fell down in the water in a marsh.

“This is an important public safety issue as road right of ways often provide conditions and environments for phragmites to grow,” said MCDR Director Bryan Santo. “The presence of the invasive species creates a visual impairment for drivers, reduces drainage, and damages pavement since it has the ability to grow through paved roads.”

The work is being done by the Lake St. Clair Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (LSC CISMA) in partnership with the Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR).

“Invasive, non-native phragmites are becoming widespread and are threatening the health of southeast Michigan’s ecosystem,” said LSC CISMA Director Amanda Ruffini. “Performing control management along road right of ways helps to prevent further dispersal of the reed and restricts it from further damaging our environment as well as public infrastructure.”

Work to battle phragmites in Macomb County began in 2015. The LSC CISMA was established in Macomb County in 2015 through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.

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Here’s where treatment work will take place

Treatment and removal work will be completed along multiple roads in the following communities:

  • Clinton Township
  • Harrison Township
  • Ray Township
  • Shelby Township
  • Sterling Heights
  • Washington Township

Maps and locations and all treatment areas within Macomb County are available on the LSC CISMA website.

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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.