Phragmites can be a valuable tool for removing nitrogen in Vineyard ponds, according to new research presented to a packed meeting in the West Tisbury Library Monday afternoon.

Regular removal of phragmites is an effective and efficient way to improve the health of coastal ponds, a study has found.


The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group on Friday accepted a $135,693 federal grant that will allow it to continue studying the invasive wetland grass phragmites, which it believes could play a role in reducing the amount of nitrogen in coastal ponds.

With Island ponds suffering from the effects of development, the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group is looking at an old foe in a new light. The shellfish group has been studying the invasive wetland grass phragmites as a possible means for removing nitrogen from coastal ponds.


A two-year effort by a group of Chilmark landowners to use herbicides to combat phragmites in Squibnocket Pond came to an end this week. The Hon. Gordon H. Piper on Monday vacated his own ruling from last January that had found a Chilmark bylaw banning herbicides on the pond was not valid.


You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This old truism is making things difficult for the recently discovered native populations of Phragmites, also known as common reed or phrag.

The phrag we all love to hate is an invasive tall grass that is becoming the dominant plant along the upper edges of our salt marshes, growing so thickly that it crowds out any other plants, including cattails, sedges, wild flowers, and woody shrubs.