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Upper Peninsula Phragmites Coalition
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Help Us De-Phrag the UP!

The UP RC& D Council was awarded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding in 2015 by the EPA to combat invasive species. The project entitled “Phragmites Prevention and Control Coalition of Michigan’s UP” was funded by an award of $964,922. These funds have allowed us to continue to collaborate with local and regional partners for the past three years to restore more than 1,400 acres of coastal shoreline and wetlands in the Upper Peninsula by treating invasive phragmitesThis work follows the highly successful UP Phragmites Project which we facilitated in 2013 and 2014, and the highlights of that project can be found in the “2015 Phragmites Project Update” which is in the documents section at the bottom of this page. Accomplishments of our current project can also be found in the Annual Project Highlight documents below. Our Coalition is also working with local groups to detect new infestations and conduct rapid response treatments. We are fortunate to be the recipient of a Michigan Invasive Species Grant which will continue our phragmites management efforts through 2018. We also have some funding from the Hiawatha National Forest to manage phragmites on land managed by that agency.


At the culmination of this project, our goal is to have in place local stewardship entities that have the passion and resources to sustain these management efforts and continue long-term maintenance of phragmites in the Upper Peninsula. After having treated most of the phragmites infestations in the UP for two consecutive years with grant funds, we are transitioning to focus on the long-term maintenance of phragmites. Most of these landowners now have a much smaller infestation or no remaining phragmites after two years of treatment. It is our hope that they will be willing to make the personal investment to keep phragmites from re-infesting their property, and the cost of doing this should be much more affordable than it would have been prior to this project. We certainly don’t want to see non-native phragmites return to these previously restored coastal wetlands and squander the financial resources which have been devoted to restoring native wetland habitat in the UP.


During the 2017 field season, we implemented a pilot phragmites landowner cost share program by working with two of the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) in the UP – the Lake to Lake CISMA (formerly Central UP Cooperative Weed Management Area) and the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (WRISC). We offered landowners the opportunity to have any remaining phragmites on their property treated by paying a portion of the treatment costs. The pilot project was very successful, and we are seeking additional funds to continue a cost share program in each of these CISMAs in the future. We are again offering a cost share opportunity to selected areas in Schoolcraft, Delta and Menominee Counties in 2018. We also developed some new educational booklets to assist landowners with what we call "Life After Phrag". They are available in the documents section below.


Taking control of non-native phragmites in the UP is going to require a long-term commitment on the part of private landowners and public land managers. We will be working with your local CISMAs, county conservation districts, and other local leaders to help landowners find ways to make that happen.


If you have not already participated in our project, and are interested in having the non-native phragmites on your property treated with grant funds, please contact us.

 U.P. Phragmites Project              

 UP RC & D Council                                                                             

 129 W Baraga Avenue, Suite F

 Marquette, MI 49855

phragmites@uprcd.org          906-225-0215


What You Can Do To Help Us De-Phrag the UP

Learn as much as you can about the biology of phragmites and the most effective control strategies. 

Some  of the most comprehensive and up-to-date information about the biology of this plant can be found at the website maintained by the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative. You will find information about how to distinguish the native phragmites (Phragmites australis subsp. americanus) from the non-native sub-species, and information about which control techniques are most effective and which techniques have the potential to make the infestation worse. Encourage your constituents, friends and neighbors to educate themselves about non-native phragmites as well. Check out the resources and links below in the Phragmites Information section for more information about this species.


Report locations of non-native phragmites by contacting us at 906-225-0215 or phragmites@uprcd.org


More Phragmites Information

MDEQ Website - Control and Management of Invasive Phragmites


Michigan Invasive Species Coalition Website


Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative Website

State of Michigan Invasive Species Website


Phragmites.org - a  website maintained by Bob Williams on behalf of the people of Harsens Island, Michigan who are ready to take control of the Phragmites which have invaded their island.


Other Phragmites Control Projects in the Great Lakes Region

Clay Township, MI


Grand Traverse County, MI


Huron Pines/Northeastern Lower Peninsula, MI

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council




Phragmites Coalition Partners and Funding Agencies

Key Partners Receiving Sub-Awards

Chippewa/Luce/Mackinac Conservation District

Alger Conservation District

Schoolcraft Conservation District

Delta Conservation District

Dickinson Conservation District

Menominee Conservation District

Michigan Natural Features Inventory


Funding Partners

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation

US Environmental Protection Agency

USFS – Hiawatha National Forest


Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program through the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development

More EDRR Species We're Looking For

To take full advantage of the EDRR network facilitated by this project, we have trained partners and contractors to identify and map additional high-threat species that have the potential to occur in coastal wetlands, several of which have not yet been reported from the UP. Because they are of high threat to upland coastal ecosystems, we have trained EDRR teams to identify and map occurrences of these species, should they detect them en route to or at the treatment sites. We have also trained them to identify and map native phragmites (Phragmites australis subsp. americanus), which is quite common in the UP coastal zone and interior wetlands. Other emerging high-threat species may be added as determined by project partners during the project period. All mapped infestations have been reported to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN).


The species for which we are surveying include hybrid cat-tail, narrow-leaved cat-tail, reed canary grass, Japanese and giant knotweed, garlic mustard and glossy buckthorn. Less likely to be found in the coastal wetlands are black and pale swallow-wort, baby's-breath, blue lyme grass, kudzu, leafy spurge, Lombardy poplar, oriental bittersweet, common buckthorn, multiflora rose, autumn olive, Eurasian honeysuckles, and Japanese barberry.


For more information about how to identify these species check out:

MISIN Invasive Species Fact Sheets 


MDNR Invasive Plant BMPs



Contact Us

For general information about this project, you may contact our project staff by phone at 906-225-0215 or by email at phragmites@uprcd.org.


The UP RC&D Council does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.  



This page last updated on 5/10/2018.
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