Home Membership/Donate Partner With Us Become a Member The Conservation Circle COL Endowment Business Members Honoraria & Memorials Preserving Land Preserving Land Why Preserve Land? How To Protect Your Land Partnership with The Pokagon Fund Glossary of Terms Protected Properties Map Our Preserves Burns Prairie Preserve Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Critter Haven Preserve Dayton Wet Prairie Preserve Edward and Elizabeth Leonard Wildlife Preserve Eleanor O'Connor Wilson Woods Preserve Flynn Woods Preserve Grand Beach Marsh Preserve Harbert Woods Preserve Jens Jensen Preserve Louis J. Sima Great Lakes Marsh Merganser Point Preserve Merritt Family Preserve Robinson Woods Preserve The Woods Preserve Turtle Creek Preserve Younger Family Preserve Visit Our Preserves Burns Prairie Preserve Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Grand Beach Marsh Preserve Jens Jensen Preserve Louis J. Sima Great Lakes Marsh Robinson Woods Preserve Turtle Creek Preserve Stewardship Stewardship Caring for the Land Volunteer Stewardship Ongoing Projects Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve Improvements Flynn Woods Preserve Recreational Improvements Other Improvement Projects Invasive Species News & Events Latest News and Photos News Media Clips Photo Galleries COL Video Library Publications Current Newsletter Archived Newsletters Current 2020 Annual Report 2019 Annual Report Upcoming Events Events Calendar Frontyard Fete (AKA Barn Benefit Lite) About About About Chikaming Open Lands Milestones Current Audited Financial Statement Board of Directors Current COL Board of Directors Staff Current COL Staff Blog Contact

Galien River Marsh Restoration

The Louis J. Sima Great Lakes Marsh Preserve is part of the larger Galien River Marsh, a Lake Michigan Coastal Marsh. As a coastal marsh, the hydrology of the marsh is directly connected to and influenced by water levels in Lake Michigan. These coastal marshes are highly regarded for their habitats, diversity and ecological value, but are threatened by the invasion of non-native invasive species, habitat loss from development, and water quality issues.

In 2004-2005 Chikaming Open Lands partnered with Berrien County Parks, Riviera Homeowners Association and the Preserve Homeowners Association (all landowners in the Galien River Marsh) to initiate restoration and management of the Marsh. Initial surveys and plans were completed and in 2008, Chikaming Open Lands and its partners received a five year grant from the Pokagon Fund to begin restoration.

Cardno JFNew, an ecological consulting firm, was retained to help create a restoration and management plan. Goals for management of the Marsh are to increase biodiversity and populations of native species; reduce invasive species; improve habitat for threatened or endangered species; educate the community about invasive and native plants; and enhance the ecological function of the marsh in order to improve water quality.

The primary focus of the restoration has been controlling the invasive plant species found in the marsh, which include purple loosestrife, common reed, reed canary grass and Canada thistle. Control and reduction of the various invasive species is a multi-year process and management is on-going.

Actions taken to control common reed have been especially successful with an increase in the diversity and abundance of the native plant community in the control zones.In an effort to reduce the abundance of purple loosestrife, Chikaming Open Lands and its partners released Galerucella beetles in 2008 and 2014. These beetles are native to Eurasia, as is purple loosestrife, and feed almost exclusively on the plant. The beetles are used for biological control of the loosestrife as an alternative to chemical control using herbicides. Over time, it is expected that the beetles will reduce the prevalence and spread of the loosestrife.