Lower Grand River Phragmites Control--A Public/Private Partnership Success Story

Numerous bayous and wetlands are present where the Grand River empties into Lake Michigan in Ottawa County. This area emcompasses over one thousand acres across approximately 10 miles of river and has become populated by common reed (Phragmites australis) in recent years. Before the common reed became wide spread and established, early detection/rapid response (EDRR) efforts were initiated to identify and control the populations.

Acting in a true public/private partnership, numerous groups worked together to educate the public and pool resources to reduce Phragmites populations in the area. Beginning in 2009, the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission, Ottawa Conservation District, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy, City of Grand Haven, GEI Consultants, Spring Lake Wetland Watch, and numerous private landowners worked together to map, locate funding, and treat Phragmites in the area. This has led to a near 90% reduction in Phragmites in the lower Grand River.

This presentation will discuss the inner workings, successes, and challenges of pulling public and private groups together over a broad geographic area to tackle the common concern of Phragmites.

Subject Matter Level: 
Friday, January 15, 2016 - 11:00am to 11:15am
Melanie Manion
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission
Melanie started working for Ottawa County Parks in 2011 and is responsible for coordinating the protection, stewardship and restoration of natural resources on park properties and for the development of a comprehensive parks volunteer program. Melanie has a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science and a M.S. in Conservation Biology from Central Michigan University. Her professional experience includes stewardship of West Michigan’s natural lands, management of volunteer programs, and environmental education.
Todd Bowen
GEI Consultants of Michigan
Brian Majka
Presentation File: