The Michigan Department of Natural Resources can go forward with a plan to use herbicides in an attempt to control invasive aquatic plants.
That’s the result of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in regards to the plan. FWS made the announcement in partnership with the Michigan DNR.
Invasive aquatic plants often negatively affect plant and animal species, and several species are known to negatively affect the health of the Great Lakes.
The main species in the DNR’s sights are European frog-bit, European water-clover, flowering rush, parrot feather, water hyacinth and water lettuce. Other invasive plants are on the list, but these are some of the biggest challenges.
FWS looked into the DNR’s proposal and found that the herbicides didn’t present major risk to the environment.
Efforts to control the invasive species will be focused in four main areas of the state: Southeast Michigan, Saginaw Bay, the Thunder Bay watershed in Alpena County and Munuscong Bay in Chippewa County.
The most effective way to deal with invasive aquatic species is early detection. The state’s Early Detection and Rapid Response program is an ongoing, grant-funded project to prevent aquatic invasive species from becoming established and stop aquatic invasive species from spreading throughout Michigan waterways.