Massive phragmites treatment successful

ALLOUEZ, Wis (WBAY) - Two years after the first large-scale treatment of phragmites in Green Bay-area communities, the effort is being hailed as a success.

With the use of what resembled an army tank, the battle against phragmites began in late summer 2016 on more than 1,500 acres the invasive had taken over in the Green Bay area.

"Our focus was along the area of concern, so lower Green Bay area, along the Fox River, East River and Duck Creek," says Angela Kowalzek-Adrians, Natural Resources Planner for Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission.

Bay Lakes Regional Planning Commission oversaw the project, paid for by a federal grant of nearly one million dollars.

We were there in Allouez to capture the spraying along the East River.

The difference today is dramatic, with just a few random, small patches of phragmites visible.

"You see it as you drive along the East River or along the bay, you'll see evidence of the treatment that was done and we had some great results," says Kowalzek-Adrians.

"Had residents that live along the East River that are happy to see the river for once, when they bought the property many years ago the river was visible and with the surge of the phragmites they lost that view for a number of years, very excited to see it again," says Allouez Village Administrator Brad Lange.

With the grant money used up, communities like Allouez are now playing for much smaller follow-up treatments to keep the phragmites in check.

"Because that little spot treatment now will go a long way to keep it back and keep it from becoming the really dense patches that we've seen," says Kowalzek-Adrians.

"This was a great opportunity to knock down an invasive species that would have continue to spread," adds Lange.

Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission is now targeting more than one thousand acres in Kewaunee County infested with phragmites.