Michigan is being overrun by foreign invaders. These invaders are plants from other parts of the world which have entered the U.S. illegally and are now spreading out across Michigan’s landscape directly impacting quality of life and economic development efforts in communities all over Michigan. Invasive plants like Phragmites australis, or common reed, are invading coastal as well as inland marsh areas, parks, wildlife preserves, greenways and blueways. This invader has created conditions right for diminishing environmental quality and public use:
- Reduced access for recreational opportunities (e.g., kayaking, canoeing and hiking)
- Degradation of natural beauty (imparting an almost blighted look) by impenetrable density of infestations leading to reduction in property values
- A matted rhizomes root system that eliminates riparian and aquatic habitat for fish and wildlife
- A visual hazard to public safety, due to diminished sight lines along waterways, trails, and road intersections
- Threatens public safety as a fire hazard and contributes to localized flooding.
The Lake St. Clair CISMA was formally established in 2015 to manage the spread of invasives around Lake St. Clair to protect its world class natural resources (e.g. wetlands, woodlands and uplands) — such as the St. Clair River delta ‒ that are directly tied to the economic well being of this region. Approximately 25 local, county, state, and federal government agencies, as well as non-profit organizations comprise the Lake St. Clair CISMA. The CISMA has five priority invasive species, on which it focuses its efforts. In 2009, over 12,000 acres of Phragmites was mapped around Lake St. Clair. Other priority invasive species threatening this invaluable regional asset include Black Swallow-Wort, Japanese Knotweed, European Frogbit and Flowering Rush. To fund planned management activities, the Lake St. Clair CISMA applied for and received a 2015 MISGP grant for approximately $254,500 from the DNR. The grant will be implemented throughout the geographic boundary of the Lake St. Clair Watershed, including St. Clair County, Macomb County and Oakland County portion of the Clinton River. It will fund:
- A full-time coordinator
- Strategic action on some 950 acres, and
- Public outreach/ education program
At its core, the Lake St. Clair CISMA’s management strategy brings to bear the major local, county and state agencies in a coordinated management effort. Seventeen partners of the CISMA will monitor, map, and/or treat over 950 acres in Focused Management Areas (FMAs). FMAs are smaller geographic areas in which numerous agencies and organizations strategically leverage their efforts to create a noticeable decline in the invasive species population. The objective is to keep FMAs free and clear of invasives, build community awareness of solutions, and then move out to other areas.
Partners Chesterfield Township City of Mount Clemens City of Rochester Hills City of St. Clair Shores Clay Township
Clinton River Public Advisory Council Clinton River Watershed Council
Cottrellville Township DOMTAR, Inc
. Eastern Michigan University Harrison Township Harsens Island St. Clair Association
Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority Ira Township Macomb County Board of Commissioners Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development Macomb County Health Department Macomb County Prosecutors office Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Michigan Department of Natural Resources Michigan Sea Grant Oakland University Office of the Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Office of the Water Resources Commissioner of Oakland County Ray Township Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy Southeast Michigan Council of Governments St. Clair County Board of Commissioners St. Clair County Community Foundation St. Clair County Drain Commissioner St. Clair County Health Department St. Clair Metropolitan Planning Commission St. Clair River Binational Public Advisory Council U.S. Army Corps of Engineers U.S. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center U.S. Geological Survey Michigan Science Center