How Macomb County is fighting an invasive species to make roads safer for drivers

Invasive phragmites can also clog drains, cause flooding

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Road crews will be out spraying along Macomb County roadways to battle invasive phragmites.

The invasive reed can grow up to 20 feet high and thrives in roadside ditches and shoulders.

“Majority of the mass of the plant is underground with a root and rhizome system, which can grow down about six feet,” Amanda Ruffini said.

Ruffini is the director of the Lake St. Clair Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (LSC CISMA). She said it’s important to treat for phragmites before they damage roads and take over other wildlife.

“It can destabilize our soils and our water quality as well as impact our infrastructure because it can crumble the road system,” Ruffini said.

They can also cause major flooding problems by clogging drains. If they are allowed to grow to their full potential, drivers would have trouble seeing around them.

“The point of the treatment is to spray herbicide that’s aquatic safe onto the phragmites to help contain it and do more control with it,” Ruffini said.

---> Macomb County roadways to be treated for invasive phragmites

Here’s where treatment will be completed

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.

About the Authors:

You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

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