Program: Emmet County Phragmites Treatment

Grenetta Thomassey fills us in on the Emmet County Phragmites Treatment Program.

Geographic Scope

Currently the program is limited to the Lake Michigan coastline of Emmet County.

What aspects of Phragmites management are you most involved in?

  • Education/outreach
  • Direct management (e.g. spraying, burning)
  • Planning
  • Policy

Why is Phragmites an issue in your area?

Phragmites poses a risk to the Emmet County coastline, just as it does to every county on the Great Lakes. We are committed to stopping Phragmites before it becomes a real problem, like it has been in other bays of the state.

Emmet County shoreline

What is your organization’s approach to invasive Phragmites management?

Each year, Tip of the Mitt partners with the Emmet County Board of Commissioners to secure the permit needed – a Certificate of Coverage – so the individuals do not have to apply for a permit on their own. We started with a comprehensive shoreline survey in 2010, and the following year we walked the shoreline again to check for new growth or anything missed during treatment the previous year.  Additionally every two years, we do a new comprehensive shoreline survey. This allows us to identify new growth of Phragmites, while at the same time making owners aware of the threat to their beach front.

Phragmites Survey

Who are you partners in this effort?

Emmet County every year, and the Emmet County Lakeshore Association in some years.

What are you funding sources?

Individuals on the shoreline pay for their own treatment, in most years.  However, we started this program when we had a grant to do the initial treatment, in 2010.  That was a great benefit to property owners because we treated some very large stands that would have been quite expensive.   As we collected permission slips from property owners to treat during that initial year, we made it broadly known that property owners would be responsible for follow up treatment, in subsequent years.  However, we just wrote a new grant proposal to see if we can get treatment paid for again, next year, as a continued incentive for property owners.

What are your goals and objectives for the program?

To stop the spread and reduce the amount of Phragmites on our coastlines.

What type of land does your program target?

The Lake Michigan shoreline of Emmet County

What is the status of the program and are you seeing results?

The program began in 2010, is currently active and can be credited with a steady decline in reported Phragmites. 

For more information contact:

Grenetta Thomassey
426 Bay St
Petoskey, MI 49770