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Progress treating invasive Phragmites

November, 2015: Thanks again to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation for a new grant funding aerial surveillance of new growth and regrownth in the lower Grand River watershed in the summer of 2016.

                                                                    2009 to 2015      

In 2009, Wetland Watch, a small, local, grass-roots organization, requested that the Spring Lake Village Council set aside $1,000 to treat invasive Phragmites in Mill Point Park. The Village continues to treat invasive Phragmites as needed in this preserve. 

In 2010, Wetland Watch applied to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation for a grant to deal invasive Phragmites on Harbor Island. The Foundation granted $30,000 from their Greatest Needs Fund, to be matched 1:1, to pay for a three year Phragmites control program.  The Grand Haven Board of Light and Power helped us meet our match. 

2011: This project,with the help of City Manager Pat McGinnis, led to the fomation of the Ottawa County Invasive Phragmites Control Group*. Members include Wetland Watch, Ottawa County Parks, Ottawa Conservation District, Cardno, GEI,, Annis Water Research Institute, Muskegon Conservation District, the Cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg and the Village of Spring Lake.  We continue to meet every other month with monthly sub-committee meetings as needed.

John Nash, Spring Lake Township Supervisor, spearheaded a fund raising effort to control invasive Phragmites around the shores of Spring Lake, particularly the heavily infested Pettys Bayou. This work was done in 2011 and 2012 with biomass removal. Isolated patches of invasive Phragmites in Ferrysburg were treated by the Muskegon Conservation District in 2011, paid for by donation. 

In 2011, Wally Obits, Wetland Watch, hand delivered permission and payment agreements to and collected from every resident of Lloyds Bayou. Ninety residents agreed to pay $25 each. Treatment was done in late September, 2011. In 2013, the Lloyds Bayou Lake Board has officially been reconstituted and will assess home and property owners for ongoing monitoring and treatment. 

One of our OCIPCG founding members was the Nature Conservancy. With Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds, Pottawattamie, Stearns and Bruce Bayous in the mouth of the Grand River were included in the treatment plan. This work was done in 2013. 

In 2013, the OCIPCG gained traction for a plan to treat treatment heavy infestations of Phragmites on the islands in the mouth of the Grand. We contacted property owners, most of whom signed on and contributed to a plan of aerial spraying of over 40 acres. This was done in 2013 and included properties abutting the Lloyds Bayou Channel.

Ottawa County Parks was a recipient of a Fish and Wildlife restoration grant to protect wild rice habitat, currently compromised by invasive Phragmites.  This grant will cover 75% of home and property owner cost for a second year of treatment. We are also in the planning stage of contacting home and property owners along the banks of the lower Grand.

The Ottawa Conservation District has also been successful with funding that has brought on board a treatment specialist, giving the OCD the capacity to treat small patches on private land.

Fall, 2015 was the third and last year of the 2013 grant. Some properties were treated for the third time, some for the second time and some for the first. Property owners were contacted with an 85% agreement to treat. Also in the fall of 2015, the first of three years of maintenance treatment on Harbor Island was done.

Click here for an information sheet about invasive Phragmites.

*The Ottawa County Invasive Phragmites Control Group, in which we participate, meets bimonthly, sharing resources of information and expertise, with a regional approach to dealing with Phragmites in northern Ottawa County. For more information, please contact Leslie Newman

 

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