Invasive Phragmites

Invasive Phragmites (a.k.a. "Common Reed") is a wetland grass species that can grow to 18 feet tall, spreads indefinitely and often occurs in dense, impenetrable stands. Invasive Phragmites causes ecological harm by displacing native species, it negatively affects natural water and nutrient cycles, and it degrades wildlife habitat. It causes social harm by reducing or preventing access for recreation, increasing fire risk and blocking sight lines. Public agencies spend millions of dollars annually on Phragmites controls. The management of this species is a high priority for the Lake St. Clair CISMA.

Tips for “cutting to drown” and “effective spading” of Phragmites

A Guide to the Control & Management of Invasive Phragmites

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) website on Phragmites

SEMCOG Spotlight on Invasive Species: Phragmites Video

Phragmites Removal Increases Property Values in Michigan’s Lower Grand River Watershed


To maintain environmental quality and public health and safety, Macomb County, Oakland Water Resources Commissioner, and various local governments working with the Lake St. Clair Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, will be treating invasive plants in several locations around Macomb County between May 26-October 31, 2021. Maps and public notices can be viewed on the 2021 Treatment Areas page.