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Invasive species treatment to start along Macomb County roadways

Press Release

Phragmites create safety hazards for drivers and damages infrastructure


MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – The Lake St. Clair Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (LSC CISMA) in partnership with the Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) will be working with a contractor to perform phragmites treatment along Macomb County road right of ways. The invasive species control work is anticipated to start following Labor Day.

“This is an important public safety issue as road right of ways often provide conditions and environments for phragmites to grow,” said MCDR Director Bryan Santo. “The presence of the invasive species creates a visual impairment for drivers, reduces drainage, and damages pavement since it has the ability to grow through paved roads.”

Funding for the phragmites control is provided by MCDR and each of the communities where work will take place. The Department of Roads views the invasive species as a threat to both drivers and infrastructure. The reed, which can grow up to 20 feet in height, thrives in roadside ditches and shoulders.

“Invasive, non-native phragmites are becoming widespread and are threatening the health of southeast Michigan’s ecosystem,” said LSC CISMA Director Amanda Ruffini. “Performing control management along road right of ways helps to prevent further dispersal of the reed and restricts it from further damaging our environment as well as public infrastructure.”

Work to treat phragmites within Macomb County road right of ways began in 2015. The LSC CISMA was established in Macomb County through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program in 2015. The work taking place this summer is part of the ongoing effort to control the non-native phragmites.

Treatment and removal work will take place along multiple roads within the following communities:

  • Clinton Township
  • Harrison Township
  • Ray Township
  • Shelby Township
  • Sterling Heights
  • Washington Township

For maps and locations of all treatment areas within Macomb County, visit

For more information regarding phragmites and invasive species control in Macomb County, contact the LSC CISMA at 248-504-4315 or or visit

Media Contact
Eric Dimoff

Department:Department of Roads
Press Release