The Nature Conservancy and partners received a grant to restore the quality of coastal dunes and wetlands along the 505-mile shoreline of eastern Lake Michigan through early detection and control of 14 invasive plant species. Some of the project outcome goals include: 1) treatment of 66% of coastal dunes infested with baby’s-breath, benefitting nesting habitat for the endangered Great Lakes piping plover; 2) reduction of Phragmites to manageable levels along 65 miles of Grand Traverse area shoreline and initiation of control in 10 other areas; 3) eradication of 33% of lyme grass infestations over 129 miles of coast; 4) reduction of garlic mustard by 90% on 2,500 acres; and 5) implementation of an early detection/rapid response program for Oriental bittersweet, Japanese knotweed, kudzu, black and pale swallow-worts, and several other invasive plants. This work continues the work of the Michigan Dune Alliance, a Cooperative Weed Management Area dedicated to the preservation of eastern Lake Michigan natural systems.
“SOGL has greatly advanced the landscape-scale restoration of Eastern Lake Michigan coastal dune systems by funding the survey and/or treatment of over 15 high-threat terrestrial invasive plant species across 36,000 acres. This work has benefited native habitat for nearly 10% of Michigan’s threatened and endangered species, strengthened collaborative partnership efforts region-wide, and improved the overall ecological and economic health of the Lake Michigan shoreline.” – Shaun Howard, Eastern Lake Michigan Project Manager, The Nature Conservancy