Phragmites Removal Upsets Some

A section of Sprague’s Cove (courtesy of sippican.villagesoup.com).

A section of Sprague’s Cove (courtesy of sippican.villagesoup.com).

     Massachusetts' Sprague's Cove had been neglected for years. Phragmites invaded, successfully out-competing the cove's native plants, and Norm Hill, Conservation Commission Vice Chair, decided it was time to act. In 2012 crews entered to cut down the invasive, an effort local residents weren't informed of. Though dense enough at the time to make travel difficult, Hill said, "in hindsight that was a bad decision;" he should have consulted the public.

     Anne Rockwell, involved in the cove's construction, decried the control attempt "that destroyed a beautiful area that was home to otters, turtles and heron." While Hill admits phragmites provides some shelter, he says the invasive destroys the habitat of native plants and animals. In May requests for maintenance funds were denied.