Cape Volunteers Terminate Phragmites

Phragmites are an invasive, tall, reed-like plant that is threatening Lake Claire Beach and the rest of the Atlantic Coast.

Community leaders within Cape St. Claire spent the weekend ridding Lake Claire Beach of an invasive species of plant called phragmites.

Cape St. Claire Improvement Association President Kathleen Mooneyhan and Beaches and Parks Committee Chairman Scott Dembowski organized the first-ever Phragmites Clean-up Day at Lake Claire Beach.

A group of community volunteers, including two Master Watershed Stewards, helped make a dent in the phragmite population around the lake and beach. 

Mooneyhan said additional clean-up days are planned.

"We will continue to tackle this invasive species as a part of our master plan for shore erosion control and lake restoration," Mooneyhan said.  

Phragmites are an invasive species of reed that has become a particular problem for the shoreline of the Atlantic Coast, Mooneyhan said. Without eradication efforts, these plants can grow so densely that neither fish nor fowl and get through them, and are threatening to take over Lake Claire and much of the beach area around the community’s Magothy River beachfront.

Volunteers worked over the weekend in teams to gather and wrap twine around bundles of phragmites in 3-foot circles. Once the bundles were tied, another person cut off the heads with pruning shears. Finally, herbicide was applied directly to the cut stalks.

If you're interested in pitching in, or want updates on events by the Friends of Lake Claire, click "like" on the group's Facebook page


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