Phragmites-related Ordinances

Municipal ordinances can be a great tool for achieving action on Phragmites management and preventing its spread. We surveyed Phragnet listserv members in spring 2017 and the responses are summarized below.

Note that while there are a few state regulations listed here, we will soon move these to separate page focusing on federal and state regulations.

To make corrections, add an ordinance, or add further details on an ordinance please email us.


State of Wisconsin

Admin Code Chapter NR 40 – “makes it illegal to possess, transport, transfer, or introduce certain invasive species in Wisconsin without a permit. Everyone is responsible to comply with these regulations.”

Bayfield County

Bayfield County

City of Washburn

Title 8: Health and Sanitation: Chapter 1: Ordinance 8-1-5: Destruction of Noxious Weeds – specifies noxious weeds that property owners are required to eliminate; Phragmites is not currently included in the listed noxious weeds


Douglas County

City of Superior

The specific ordinance has not been located – if you have it please let us know.


Branch County

Coldwater Township

Section 9: Definition of acceptable landscape plants (not yet tested)

Leelanau County

Township of Leelanau

Ordinance No. 2: Phragmites Ordinance – procedures to identify Twp properties infested with Phragmites; to prescribe eradication and treatment procedures; to repeal any ordinances in conflict with this ordinance

Bingham Township

Ordinance No. 01-031615: Bingham Township Terrestrial Invasive Species Ordinance – allows for all property within the twp to be included in a terrestrial invasive species eradication zone and can receive effective treatment

Midland and Bay Counties

New York

New York State

NYCRR Part 575: Prohibited and Regulated Invasive SpeciesPhragmites is a prohibited species; see this page for more information

Staten island

Community Wildfire Protection Plan – requires removing Phragmites in cities of more than one million people


Province of Ontario

Invasive Species Act

Phragmites is listed as a Restricted plant under this Act. More information. 

Municipal Act

  • Phragmites has not been listed as a noxious weed through by-law by any single or upper tier municipalities, so an ordinance to “destroy noxious weeds” is not possible.
  • However, several municipalities have a “tall grass and weeds” by-law under the Municipal Act regarding property standards.