- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - A campaign to remove invasive plants from Belle Isle in the Detroit River begins this summer.

A $470,000 federal grant is supporting the effort. The goal is to control the spread of invasive plants on the island and prevent others from taking hold.

Friends of the Detroit River obtained the grant. Project manager Sam Lovall says four species will be targeted for removal. One is phragmites (frag-MY’-tees), which covers 50 acres. The others are reed canary grass, purple loosestrife and Japanese knotweed.

Lovall says invasive plant species can monopolize the landscape by growing in large groves, patches and stands that destroy habitat diversity.

The grant will pay to map all invasive plants on Belle Isle, select a contractor to perform control work, manage volunteers and create an educational program.

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