Invasive Plant Symposium Draws 80 Participants
2nd Anniversary of Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership Recognized
Rye, NH – “Breaking Through Barriers: A Roadmap to Invasive Plant Control” symposium was held today at the Seacoast Science Center, where approximately 80 participants from nonprofit groups, state and local government organizations, consultant groups and concerned individuals learned about strategies to combat the growing threat of invasive plants in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed. Invasive plant species are particularly aggressive nonnative plants that out-compete native species and degrade the quality of our lands and waters. Examples of invasive plants include common reed (Phragmites australis), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum).
The Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership (CWIPP), a partnership of 11 organizations committed to preserving the natural ecology of the coastal watershed from invasive plants, hosted the symposium. CWIPP celebrates its second anniversary today.
“CWIPP held this event to help practitioners understand the nuts and bolts needed to pull together on-the-ground management projects,” said Kevin Lucey, Coastal Program Restoration coordinator and CWIPP chair.
Invasive plants know no boundaries, and the symposium’s speakers and topics reflected the diverse interests involved, including keynote speaker Les Merhoff from the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England at the University of Connecticut on lessons learned from other New England states; Bob Wolff, N.H. Division of Pesticide Control Groundwater Program on pesticide control rules; and Elizabeth Duff, Education Coordinator from Massachusetts Audubon on volunteer efforts to find and control perennial pepperweed in the Great Marsh just over the border in Massachusetts.
The day culminated with a field tour of the invasive plant control project at Odiorne State Park, where, similar to other areas in the coastal watershed and across the state, native plants are being choked, shaded-out and toppled by invasive shrubs, vines and trees. Strategies to address the problem include: mapping problem areas, developing an invasive control plan, coordinating with volunteers to clear invasive plants, and hiring contractors. Hand-pulling, mechanical pulling, and in some cases herbicides are all methods used to control invasive plants.
CWIPP focuses on approximately 30 invasive plants. The goal is to protect the most valuable habitats from being taken over by infestations.For more information visit the CWIPP website at www.des.nh.gov. Click on the A-Z list on the right-hand side of the page and scroll down to Coastal Watershed Invasive Plant Partnership.
# # #