Look familiar? This is a typical clump of starry stonewort collected during the Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch on Woodruff Lake in Oakland County.

Starry stonewort. If you are a lakefront property owner somewhere downstream of the St. Lawrence Seaway, you may have heard the name at some point in the past decade. Having spent the summer on lakes across Oakland County MI with MiCorps volunteers for the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program’s Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch, I have been struck by the damage caused by this invasive large algae from Eurasia. Starry stonewort is arguably among the most disruptive invasive species to find its way into the Great Lakes region since the introduction of zebra mussels. In fact, it likely was introduced the same way, carried in the ballast water from ships engaging in transatlantic trade. Learn what is it, why is it so problematic, and how to deal with it in my Starry Stonewort, Invasive Species Field Report, Fall 2018.

Niklas Krantz is HRWC’s CLMP Invasive Plants Intern this summer. He is majoring in Biological Sciences at Wayne State University. You can catch Nik featured in a recent story from the Environment Report, “Bugs can tell us whether a river is healthy,” by Lester Graham.