Phragmites Control Project

Information for Landowners

A group of LISMA members including Glacierland Resource Conservation & Development Council (Glacierland), Lakeshore Natural Resources Partnership (LNRP) and Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. among others, are partnering on this regional invasive phragmites effort on public and private lands across Calumet, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, & Ozaukee Counties. Glacierland and LNRP recently received funding from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to conduct control work in Calumet and Fond du Lac counties in addition to control work continuing in Manitowoc, Sheboygan, & Ozaukee Counties. Treatments will be performed by trained/certified contractors using herbicide from July-October each year. To date, our team has secured more than $2.2 million in grant funding. Funding to fight against the invasive species has been secured through the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Sustain our Great Lakes program, in addition to the Department of Natural Resources. Other groups like the Southeaster Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (SEWISC) are also doing work to control Phragmites in Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties. Visit their website to learn more about their projects.

Invasive Phragmites Australis (common reed) is a tall, colony-forming grass, introduced from Europe, that is invading our wetlands, shores, and waterways. It can form dense, impenetrable stands that choke wetlands streams, beaches, and shores. Identifying features of Phragmites include bamboo-like stems up to 15 feet tall, leaves 1+ inch wide and up to 30 inches long, dense seed heads that are purple in the fall and tan in winter. Phragmites are a priority species to control for LISMA partners because it displaces native plant communities and wildlife that depend on them, degrades wetlands, waterways, and shorelines, and reduces public access to these resources, reduces property values, and impacts community health, safety, and economic vitality and large stands increase risk for destructive wildfires. It is best to act quickly and participate in this free control program as cost for control will only increase if left untreated and effective control is achievable with immediate action by local residents. Click here to learn more on our Phragmites Brochure.

Mapping has been completed across the counties and each landowner with invasive Phragmites will receive a letter in the mail requesting permission to access and control this species. It takes two years of herbicide treatment to kill the underground rhizome system of these invasive species. First time treatment sites will be treated with machine crews later in the summer and early fall. The treatment crews do one township at a time as they work throughout the Counties. 

In order for you site to be treated with these grants, a written permission form must be returned to Melissa Curran from Stantec, We will need these permissions by June 15th for planning purposes. Once you have granted permission for your property to be treated at no cost to you, that permission will last for the length of the project and you will not have to re-up your permission. If your sites have not been mapped or you have not received a letter you would need to contact us. We have had landowners discovering new sites on their property that were not in our program and some folks are hearing about the project from their neighbors.


To see if your property has been mapped, check out the public website at: