The interaction Between Science and Policy in the Control of Phragmites in Oligohaline Marshes of Delaware Bay Academic Article uri icon


  • Public Service Enterprise Group of New Jersey restored Delaware Bay marshes to enhance fish production as part of a mitigation negotiated in a company’s NJPDES permit. Restoration meant control of an introduced type of the common reed, Phragmites, that had displaced Spartina alterniflora and S. patens. Phragmites dominance altered the function and structure of these brackish marshes and reduced habitat value by raising and flattening marsh surface and covering smaller tidal creeks. A common control technique is to use an herbicide – Glyphosate, but public concern about herbicide use resulted in an agreement between PSEG and NJ regulators to test other methods for reed control and limit the amount of herbicide used. Experiments with methods of Phragmites control indicate that herbicide application over three or more growing seasons, concentrating in an area until control was complete, is the most effective control method.

publication date

  • March 2005