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UP RC&D Soliciting Bids for Phragmites Treatments
 Photo courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant [Click here to view full size picture]

July 11, 2016 - The UP RC&D Council is currently soliciting bids for herbicide treatments of non-native phragmites in Menominee and Delta Counties. The deadline for bid submissions, and the instructions for submitting bids are included in the two bid package documents "UP RC&D Council U.P. Phragmites Project RFQ 2016"  and "Garden Peninsula RFQ". 

Click the link for these documents in the documents section below. Direct questions about these RFQs to Darcy Rutkowski at 906-225-0215.

Help Us De-Phrag the UP!

The UP RC& D Council is one of only 15 grant recipients to be awarded Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding which was announced in March 2015 by the EPA to combat invasive species. The new project entitled “Phragmites Prevention and Control Coalition of Michigan’s UP” is funded by an award of $964,922. These funds will allow us to continue to collaborate with local and regional partners for two more years to restore at least 800 acres of coastal shoreline and wetlands in the Upper Peninsula by treating invasive phragmites. This work will build on the highly successful UP Phragmites Project which we have been facilitating for the past two years, 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. Our Coalition will also work with local groups to detect new infestations and help them assume stewardship for long-term control efforts.


More about the Phragmites Prevention & Control Coalition of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Utilizing grant funds, the UP RC&D Council has worked with partners to map all the non-native phragmites in the UP and we have collectively treated more than 550 acres of coastal and interior wetlands (most of those acres were treated for two consecutive years). If you have been one of the fortunate landowners whose property has been located in one of our prioritized treatment zones, and received grant-funded treatment the past two years—we will not be able to use the new grant funds to do any further herbicide treatments on your property. These landowners are moving into the maintenance phase of managing the phragmites on their property and one of the most important goals of this new project is to identify local stakeholder groups that will help lead these ongoing stewardship efforts. Most of these landowners will 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. 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 county conservation district and other local leaders to help landowners find ways to make that happen.


These grant programs are very competitive. The EPA received 95 applications requesting more than $70 million dollars in funding, and only funded 15 of those proposals. Our proposal was strengthened by the collaboration of a very dedicated group of project partners and steering team members. It was also strengthened by our ability to demonstrate that we are able to engage UP landowners and land managers with our project to have successfully treated more than 550 acres of non-native phragmites over the past two years. We appreciate the cooperation we have received from private landowners, townships, counties and their local county conservation districts, state agencies (MDOT, MDEQ, MDNR) and federal agencies (Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forests, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Seney National Wildlife Refuge) to find ways to treat phragmites infestations that cross jurisdictional boundaries.


We hope to be able to offer all landowners in the UP with phragmites infestations on their property free (grant-funded) treatment. If you are interested in having the non-native phragmites on your property treated with grant funds, you will need to complete the landowner permission form. Please complete both sides of the form and sign the form making sure to fill in all the blanks (or it won’t be valid) and return it to the project office at this address:

 U.P. Phragmites Project              

 UP RC & D Council                                                                             

 129 W Baraga Avenue, Suite F

 Marquette, MI 49855


In order to have your non-native phragmites treated with grant funds we must have your completed and signed permission form in our office by Friday, June 26, 2015.


Important—If you wish to have the non-native phragmites on your property treated with grant funds in late August and September 2015—Do Not Mow the infestations prior to that time. In order for the herbicide treatments to be most effective, the plants need to be vigorous, with flowering tassels so that the chemical can be trans-located down into the rhizomes.

Click the link for the 2016 UP Phragmites Coalition Landowner Permission Form in the Documents Section below.

If you live in Delta County, you will need to also complete the 2015 Delta Conservation District's Landowner Permission Form which is also below.


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 -  We are working to develop this website reporting function - please be patient. We hope to have this functional in early 2013. While the monotypic infestations along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Menominee and Delta Counties are pretty obvious, we may not be aware of smaller, outlying infestations. We will rely on local residents to report those outlying infestations so that they can be ground-truthed.


More Phragmites Information

MDEQ Website - Control and Management of Invasive Phragmites


MDNR Invasive Species Website


Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative 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


Charlevoix County, MI


Grand Traverse County, MI


Beaver Island/Peaine Twp, MI


Huron Pines/Northeastern Lower Peninsula, MI




Phragmites Project Timeline

October 2012 - January 2013: Convene steering team; develop QAPP (Quality Assurance Project Plan) and NEPA (National Environmental  Policy Act) documentation which must be approved by the funder prior to conducting any on-the-ground restoration work

January - August 2013: Ground-truth infestations detected on high resolution aerial photos, survey for 20 additional invasive plants; establish pre-treatment monitoring plots (required by funder); educate UP residents about phragmites and the goals of this project at county-wide workshops; obtain county-wide Aquatic Nuisance Control permits; secure landowner permission; train conservation district personnel

Late August- early September 2013: Complete pre-treatment monitoring surveys according to monitoring protocols identified in QAPP; conduct herbicide treatment on priority coastal and inland infestations with landowner permission

October 2013-March 2014: Remove biomass from prioritized treatment sites

March-August 2014: Evaluate treatment success with post-treatment monitoring according to QAPP protocols; educate additional landowners and obtain permission; verify new infestation reports; train private landowners about treatment protocols they can use to treat their own (reduced) infestations in the coming years; evaluate regeneration of native species in treated areas

September 2014: Conduct herbicide treatment on newly prioritized infestations

November - December 2014: Remove biomass from prioritized treatment sites; plan for partners' continuing control efforts; submit final reports


More EDRR Species We're Looking For

To take full advantage of the EDRR network facilitated by this project, we will train 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 will train EDRR teams to identify and map occurrences of these species, should they detect them en route to or at the treatment sites. We will also train 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 will be reported to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN).


The species for which we will be 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 Jason Schnorr, Regional Project Manager 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 7/17/2016.
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