Monday, November 2, 2009

Week of November 2, 2009

Updated November 6. The latest news is at the bottom of the post.

More than $1 Million for projects to improve the health of Long Island Sound

Funds awarded to control perennial pepperweed

pepperweed(Waterford, Conn. – Oct. 29, 2009) – Gathering together on the shores of Long Island Sound, top federal and state environmental officials announced 33 grants to state and local government and community groups under the Long Island Sound Futures Fund. The $1,011,878 will be leveraged by $1.92 million contributed by the recipients, providing a total of nearly $2.94 million for on-the-ground conservation in Connecticut and New York. [...]

This year’s grant program funded 21 large grants (grants greater than $10,000) totaling $943,755. Five grants were awarded for water quality; four for habitat restoration; one for watershed planning; one for invasive species control; seven for education; and three for stewardship projects. [...]

The grants include $38,538 to control perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) at West Meadow Beach, Town of Brookhaven, New York. EEA Inc. assisted the Town of Brookhaven with their grant application and perennial pepperweed control plan.

EEA scientists discover perennial pepperweed in 2006

EEA scientist Denise Harrington discovered New York State's only known infestation of perennial pepperweed at West Meadow Beach in 2006. Numerous plants were found occupying the upper edge of the salt shrub zone, immediately landward of marsh elder. This year, Kathy Schwager of The Nature Conservancy and EEA scientist Bill Jacobs returned to the site to map the plant's current extent. The infestation appears to be spreading.

Perennial pepperweed poses a serious threat to native maritime ecosystems by creating large, dense, monospecific stands that displace native plants. Infestations at West Meadow Beach are scattered, covering a total area of approximately one acre in size.


Photo by PCA Alien Plant Working Group


Invasives still a major concern in Great Lakes

By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio

zebra_musselsMILWAUKEE (WPR) Even with new clean-up money on the way, scientists continue to worry about invasive species in the Great Lakes.

Congress has agreed to spend $475-million on a Great Lakes restoration plan over the next year. But some worry the money won't be as effective as it could be without tougher federal controls on ballast water discharges from ships in the Great Lakes. Contaminated ballast is believed to be a key source of invasive species in the waters.

This week, an Obama administration panel held a hearing to look at new policies for the Great Lakes and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. University of Notre Dame biologist David Lodge described some of harm invasives are causing for great lakes whitefish, who have become increasingly skinny and not as valuable to commercial fisheries.

The federal task force is supposed to make specific policy recommendations within a few months. Those could influence how some of the new money is spent.

Information from Wisconsin Public Radio,

Read the story at link.


Help the Great Lakes

President's boost in budget proposal should be backed fully by Congress

The Buffalo News: Opinion

Having a Chicago politician as president of the United States — and another as his chief of staff — has some scary implications that should never be completely ignored.

But one good thing about a White House with connections on The Loop is that there is likely to be a healthy amount of concern for the Great Lakes.

That concern was reflected in President Obama's budget proposal, which included a helpful $475 million for projects to clean up the five lakes that provide drinking water, transportation routes, recreational opportunities and so much other support for the economic and environmental spheres that include Buffalo.

The lakes and their tributaries are so large, and so seldom catch fire any more, that the problems can be hard for non-experts to see. But problems there are — as well as opportunities.

The lakes are polluted, and becoming more so every day. Invasive species, brought in by ocean-going vessels that are key to the regional economy, are becoming an ever-greater problem. Bordering wetlands are also polluted and gummed up in many ways. That's no way to treat the source of one-fifth of the planet's surface fresh water supply, water source for 35 million people, and the reason why cities from Rochester to Toronto to Detroit to Chicago to Milwaukee were founded in the first place.

The president's budget proposals will go a long way to address all those problems. They will help municipal sewage treatment facilities and other sources of pollution clean up their acts, restore damaged wildlife habitats and restore more of the lakes' bays, coves and shores to the kind of ecosystem that can sustain wildlife and human habitation.

And, in the bargain, the money will provide productive employment for many people at a time when such opportunities are in short supply.

In the long process of reviewing the budget, the Senate went along with Obama's full $475 million request. The House cut it to $400 million. The difference will be resolved on conference committee and then voted on again by both bodies.

The lesser amount would be an improvement over past years' funding. But the whole request would do a lot more, for projects that have been too long delayed already, employing people who will have something very great indeed to show for their work. Congressional delegations from the Great Lakes state should take note — and get to work.

Read the article at link.


President signs legislation to benefit Great Lakes

By Ducks Unlimited

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – November 2, 2009 –President Obama signed historic legislation aimed at the restoring the Great Lakes, Friday, after the House and Senate approved the measure. According to Ducks Unlimited, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will provide $475 million for a comprehensive program to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Ducks Unlimited stands ready to turn this financial commitment into cleaner water and better habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and citizens of the Great Lakes and beyond.

“Congress and the President have delivered on their promise to help protect and restore one of our national treasures,’ said Robert D. Hoffman, Director of Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Region. “We are grateful to all of the Great Lakes partners and Congressional and Administration champions for making this funding a reality.”

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was proposed by the President to address the most serious issues that face the Great Lakes. Loss of habitat, invasive species, nonpoint source pollution, and toxic sediments threaten the health and economic well being of residents and damages the United States largest fresh water resource. Program administrators have a valuable document in the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, a blueprint developed by more than 1,500 people representing governmental, industry, and nonprofit groups to set priorities and identify needs, which will receive funding for its most pressing programs.

Read the full story at link.


Lake weeds the top topic at two Natick, MA meetings this week

By Charlie Breitrose/Daily News staff
The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Nov 02, 2009

NATICK, MA — The Board of Selectmen and the Conservation Commission this week will each discuss the ongoing negotiations about using herbicide to control weeds in Lake Cochituate, Massachusetts.

Selectmen tonight will hear from Carole Berkowitz, spokeswoman for Protect Our Water Resources. POWR opposes a plan by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to use chemicals to fight milfoil, a non-native weed infesting parts of the lake. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

POWR and the Natick Conservation Commission have both appealed a state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) decision allowing the DCR to use herbicide. In the decision, DEP officials stripped many conditions set by the Conservation Commission when it agreed to let the DCR use the herbicide diquat on five acres of the lake near the public beach and boat ramp.

The conditions removed from the commission's ruling included: monitoring the amount of the chemical in the lake water; posting warnings of the chemical use; and requiring the DCR to run a pilot project to study how well a diver-assisted suction harvester (DASH) boat removes the weeds.

A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 15, and Berkowitz said witness statements and reports for the hearing will soon be available.

Natick Conservation Agent Bob Bois said there is still a chance the hearing will not be needed. He and other town officials recently met with representatives from DCR to try to come to an agreement.

"There was a good discussion. We looked for common interests and we agreed to meet again," he said. "Our hope is we can reach a settlement between DCR and the Conservation Commission, which includes restoring the original order of conditions."

The lake weeds will also be the topic of discussion at the Conservation Commission's Wednesday night meeting, Bois said. Officials from the DCR will give an annual report on Lake Cochituate starting at 7:15 p.m. in Town Hall.

Bois said he hopes they will tell the commission about how well a DASH boat fared in a test run on Lake Cochituate during the spring.

"We're hoping it's one of the things DCR will talk about - the effectiveness of the DASH boat used in April," he said. "It would be nice to share that information with the board."

Berkowitz said POWR want to use a DASH boat to control the milfoil in the lake. She said she had a professional diver, who may be interested in bidding to run the DASH boat, come out to look at the lake last week.

The DCR used the boat to clear a channel in Snake Brook Cove, which lies between North and Middle ponds.

"The diver looked at it and it's good," Berkowitz said. "It was clean (of weeds). He was very impressed."

Other items likely to be covered by DCR officials are the harvesting of water chestnut plants in Fiske Pond, and the management of milfoil in Lake Cochituate's South and Middle ponds, Bois said.

Read the story at link.


New funding for milfoil in Maine

DASHSTANDISH, Maine (AP) — The Maine Milfoil Consortium, a group that addresses the threat of invasive aquatic plants in the state's lakes, has been awarded $500,000 in federal funds.

The money will be used to mitigate and control invasive milfoil in seven "test bed" lakes, which pose a high risk of spread to other waters.

The mission of the consortium is to address the milfoil infestation threat through a program of prevention, research, management, mitigation, and eradication through the application of "best practices."

The consortium says 26 Maine lakes are infested with variable-leaf milfoil, which disturbs the ecology of lakes vital to recreational boaters, homeowners and businesses.

Photo: Little Sebago Lake Association's modified pontoon boat sucks up and filters the plant fragments gathered by divers.


Connecticut targets invasive plants

HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut authorities are hoping that new projects in four towns will help stop the spread of fast-growing invasive plants.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says the invasive plants threaten other plants and animals in the native ecosystems.

The biggest project is a $78,000 effort to fight the aggressive fanwort plant in the Bantam River system in Litchfield and Morris. If it's left to grow, it could harm Bantam Lake, which is Connecticut's largest natural lake.

Smaller projects are targeting the fast-growing "mile-a-minute" vine in New Milford and Newtown, and water chestnut plants that took hold in a Hartford flood control pond after getting into the Connecticut River.

Read the story at link.


Mountains as Model Systems for Understanding Drivers of Plant Invasion

For more info contact directly:

Claudia Drexler, Communication Manager
Greg Greenwood, Executive Director
The Mountain Research Initiative
c/o Institute of Geography,
University of Berne
Erlachstrasse 9a Trakt 3
3012 Bern



Invasive plant removal volunteer event in New Jersey

November 7, 2009 - November 7, 2009
9 am - noon
Free, Pre-Registration Requested


Non-native, invasive plants pose enormous threats to native plant communities and the associated wildlife communities. Come lend a hand in helping to remove these intruders from the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area near the Interpretive Center. Gloves, tools and snacks will be provided. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Liberty State Park and Bayonne Nature Club


JOB OPENING: Executive Director, National Invasive Species Council in WASHINGTON, DC

Open Period:
Friday, October 30, 2009 to Friday, November 06, 2009

If selected for this positon you will serve as a key contact and coordinator for the NISC, representing the perspectives of its member departments and agencies, and ensuring the Council’s effectiveness in meeting the duties of the Executive Order 13122. If selected you wll have full responsibility for coordination the development of the Invasive Species Management Plan, updating the plan biennially, reporting on success in achieving the goals for the plan to the Office of Management and Budget and assisting the NISC in performing the duties outlined in Executive Order 13112. Works on policy aspect of invasive species to support the NISC activities across a variety of disciplines and agencies.



Invasive Beetle Found in Juniata County, Pennsylvania

ABC27 News

EABHarrisburg, Pa. - A tree-destroying insect first discovered in Pennsylvania two years ago has been found in Juniata County.

An infestation of Emerald Ash Borer beetles was discovered along Route 333 near the Mifflin County border, in Milford Township, according to the state Department of Agriculture (web | news) . The invasive beetle has been found in 10 other counties since first appearing in Pennsylvania in 2007.

The state has imposed a quarantine on the 11 counties where the beetle was found. The quarantine restricts the movement of ash nursery stock, green lumber and any other ash material, including logs, stumps, roots and branches, and all wood chips. Because ash is difficult to identify from other tree species, all hardwood firewood and wood chips - including oak, maple and hickory - are considered quarantined.

The Emerald Ash Borer has also been detected in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Washington and Westmoreland counties. [...]

n addition to Pennsylvania, the beetle is attacking ash trees in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and is responsible for the death and decline of more than 40 million trees.

There is no known practical control for the insect other than destroying infested trees.

Read the story at link.


Connecticut funds mile-a-minute vine fight

By Robert Miller
Staff Writer

Mile-a-minute vine, the kudzu of the North, may be less troublesome in 2010.

The [Connecticut] Department of Environmental Protection last week announced it will give New Milford $14,000 and Newtown $11,000 to fight the fast-growing and highly invasive weed.

"That's fantastic news,'' said Kathleen Nelson, who has led New Milford's fight against the vine and who had not expected the funding. "Now we have to come up with a new game plan.''

The state is paying for four invasive species projects with $115,000 from Supplemental Environmental Project payments made to DEP as part of the resolution of enforcement actions.

DEP fisheries biologist Peter Aarrestad said the DEP had to cancel some environmental grants to municipalities this year because of the state's budget crisis.

But the money received in enforcements, which the DEP can't use for its own staff or projects, was available for grants.

"We thought it was a good creative use of the money,'' Aarrestad said.

The state also gave a $78,000 grant to control fanwort -- an invasive aquatic plant -- in the Bantam River and Bantam Lake in Litchfield and a $6,000 grant to get ride of water chestnuts growing in a flood control pond in Hartford. [...]

Read the full story at link.


Lake Hickory, North Carolina, weed problem clearing up

By Dianne Whitacre Straley

Lake Hickory is having fewer problems with aquatic weeds and algae, according to state water quality studies.

An invasion of parrotfeather weed, which limited boating and threatened the supply of drinking water six years ago, is under control, a state water quality staff member says. And algae is no longer causing complaints of foul odors and bad-tasting water, said Kevin Greer, assistant public services director for the city of Hickory.

Greer credited better efforts at reducing the amount of runoff heading to Lake Hickory as an important step in reducing algae. Runoff may be carrying fewer nutrients, which feed algae growth, he said.

Erosion control in Catawba County and counties upstream from Lake Hickory has helped, said Greer, who reported recently to the Hickory City Council on the state studies.

The construction of more low-lying areas called rain gardens has slowed the rush of storm water, allowing it to soak into the ground rather than pour into the reservoir. Rain gardens, like one built behind Lowe's home improvement store in the Viewmont section of Hickory, are important in controlling runoff from large parking lots that cannot absorb rainwater.

Nutrient levels in Lake Hickory have not worsened, even through the area is becoming more developed with homes, where the fertilizers used on lawns end up in the lake. "I think people are getting smarter and are using less fertilizer," Greer said.

Lake Hickory has not had a problem with the invasive aquatic weed parrotfeather in two years, Greer said. The plant is a native of South America and is sold for use in ornamental fish ponds. No one is knows for sure how it got into the lake.

Duke Power biologists spotted a 2- to 3-acre growth of parrotfeather in Lake Hickory in 2001 and alerted the state. By 2003, the weed covered 125 acres.

The weed was so thick near the U.S. 321 bridge in 2003 that boaters could not reach the nearby marina. Hickory was concerned the acres of weeds would clog the pipe that carries water from Lake Hickory to the city's water treatment plant. Dense growth of parrotfeather can provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes and worsen water quality and fish habitat.

In 2004, 2006 and 2007, the city and the state shared the cost of spraying the herbicide Komeen, which has been successful in stopping parrotfeather, said Rob Emens, an environmental specialist in the weed program of the N.C. Division of Water Resources.

"It was amazing we could get it under control so quickly," Emens said.

Some weeds have washed downstream and rooted in Lookout Shoals Lake, where they have been largely controlled with sterile grass carp that were introduced by the state. The carp eat the weed.

Emens says there is a potential for parrotfeather to return to Lake Hickory. It and other weeds are spread by boaters, who could bring it from other lakes on their trailers or propellers. In an attempt to halt the spread, the state has posted signs at boat launching ramps urging boaters to throw away any "hitchhikers" - aquatic weeds.

Aquatic plants will quickly outgrow ornamental ponds, and owners should dispose of the extra in a compost pile or garbage can. Do not toss aquatic weeds into the lake, Emens said.

Read the story at link.


Invasive plants choking Griswold, Connecticut ponds

Norwich Bulletin

Griswold, Conn. — Studies of three major ponds in Griswold — Ashland, Hopeville and Glasgo/Doaneville — show they are infested with invasive aquatic plants that in some cases have clogged the area between shoreline and open water.

“Fanwort is particularly prevalent in all of the lakes, and it’s a particularly nasty plant because it grows very prolifically, especially in shallow water,” said George Knoecklein, who was contracted by the town to evaluate the three bodies of water along with Pachaug Pond. “By and large, most of the shallow coves are choked with this plant.” [...]

Read the story at link.


New York calls on U.S. Coast Guard to expedite action to stop invasive species

Stricter Standards for Ballast Water Discharge Can Curb Invasive Species Pathways

Looking to stop the rapid spread of invasive species, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today urged the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to expedite new restrictions on the ability of ships to discharge ballast water in America's waters.

"The establishment of a strong, environmentally protective, national ballast water discharge standard is a critical and necessary component of the nation's invasive species programs," said Grannis.

One of the principal ways that aquatic invasive species move around the globe is by figuratively hitchhiking in the ballast tanks of ships. Most of the 180 known species that have invaded the Great Lakes arrived via ballast water from international shipping. Some of the well-known species include zebra and quagga mussels, round gobies, spiny and fishhook waterfleas, and bloody red shrimp.

The USCG is currently accepting public comments on draft regulations on the treatment standards for ballast water used by ships ("Standards for Living Organisms in Ship's Ballast Water Discharged into U.S. Waters") through Dec. 4.

"New York State and its many partners are striving to put effective prevention measures in place for all invasive species," said Grannis. "We do this one pathway at a time - by understanding the ways plants and animals are moved around the globe by humans and then finding practical ways to shut off those pathways. Ballast water has been long-recognized as a major conduit for an ever-growing list of aquatic invasive species and we must constrict the flow as soon as we can.

New York has supported a federal proposal to require ships to treat ballast water before it is discharged (a standard known as "1000 X IMO" or one-thousand times the International Maritime Organization standard). New York issued a water quality certification making this standard appliable for all vessels traveling in New York Waters. However, Commissioner Grannis raised concerns that the time frame for implementing the standard set forth in the Coast Guard draft regulations is too long - for some ships, it wouldn't be fully phased in until 2025 - to adequately protect our waters.

Currently, New York is one of three states to enact a ballast-water standard that is more protective than federal standards. In the submitted testimony, Commissioner Grannis said that to ensure uniformity across the board, ballast water should be regulated under a strong federal program and not on a state-by-state basis. The establishment of a national discharge standard equivalent to the most stringent state standards currently in place would result in a consistent national regulatory framework for vessels that navigate in U.S. waters. In addition, the establishment of a strong, environmentally protective standard will result in the development and production of advanced technology to meet product demand, the commissioner said.

DEC has worked collaboratively with the state Attorney General's Office, as well as other states, especially the Great Lakes states and California, in efforts to influence federal actions to address the risks and dangers associated with ballast water and the need for stricter federal regulations.

Additional information about these regulations is available at on the USCG website.


"Great Invaders" workshops in Florida

By MARK ESTES, Correspondent

Great_InvadersMore than a dozen concerned local residents came to Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach on a recent Saturday to learn about a growing problem -- the invasion of non-natives into Florida.

No, it wasn't about snowbirds. The program, called "The Great Invaders," was a free five-hour workshop for homeowners on dealing with invasive exotic plants.

"Invasive plants are an ongoing problem for us, so we decided to promote education on the subject," park service specialist Terri Newmans said. "We want to encourage volunteers to help us clean exotics out of the park and at home."

According to Newmans, the Recreation Area's biggest invasive problem involves the Brazilian pepper and lantana, although there are other invasive plants present.

"We have some air potato and others, but Brazil pepper and lantana are the big problems," Newmans said.

Maia McGuire, Florida Sea Grant Extension agent, opened the program with a discussion of what invasive plants are and how they are designated invasive. She passed around samples of a number of invasive species. A plant is native if it was growing in Florida prior to the arrival of Europeans. All others are considered non-native or exotic.

"Non-native or exotic is not necessarily bad, it simply means they were introduced to this area," McGuire said. "However, if they have a negative impact, then they can become classified as invasive."

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council updates the list of problematic plants every two years. Category I plants are invasive exotics that are altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives.

Category II invasive plants have increased in abundance or frequency but haven't yet altered Florida plant communities to the extent shown by Category I plants. [...]

Repeat performance

WHAT: A second presentation of "The Great Invaders" workshop on invasive plants

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday

WHERE: Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach.

FOOD: Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch.

HOW TO REGISTER: Call park service specialist Terri Newmans at 386-517-2086 or e-mail her at terri.newmans[at]

Read the story at link.

Photo by N-J | Mark Estes.


Residents in New Hampshire rally behind proposal for milfoil control funding

by Erin Plummer

MOULTONBORO — Town residents are rallying behind the formation of a new committee and the proposed creation of a reserve fund to control milfoil.

Peter Jensen with Conservation Commission Chair Bob Clark and other residents made a presentation to the Board of Selectmen on a proposal for addressing milfoil infestation in Lake Winnipesaukee and other town water bodies.

Jensen said Amy Smagula, Exotic Aquatic Species Coordinator with the Department of Environmental Services, mapped out around 200 acres of milfoil in the 68 miles she examined.

Jensen said that of the properties on the town's current $2.85 billion valuation, 71 percent are on the shoreline and 16 percent have water access. The properties that are not located on the water have owners that still utilize the lake's resources. Studies have shown that valuations in towns with milfoil infestation can go down between 10 and 20 percent. A drop of 7 percent in the property value due to milfoil could mean a reduction in revenue of $1 million, with that figure tripling if revenue drops 13 percent.

Clark helped form a milfoil committee to address the management of milfoil in Moultonboro and around Lake Winnipesaukee. Jensen said the committee is asking that a milfoil reserve fund be formed in 2010 and money be deposited for the treatment and management of milfoil. The typical cost of a state-approved method of treatment is between $80,000 and $91,000. The committee is requesting that $100,000 be put into the fund to support the effort at the town level. [...]

Jensen said the money in the reserve fund can be used for a greater town effort but can also be available to smaller control projects that need it. The funds would also go toward control and prevention of re-infestation, as total eradication is near impossible.

"The cost of not doing it seems to be much higher than the cost of doing it," Jensen said.

Karin Nelson of the Lee's Pond Association said the hope is to have a plan of attack and perhaps a vacuum so that milfoil starts being removed from the pond, which has a heavy infestation. [...]

The fund's creation will need to be an article on the 2010 town warrant, an article selectmen said should be a petition article. Board members said including an item that size in the budget would likely not be the best course, especially with economic constraints and concerns over the future of the town's role in school funding. Board members said they would support the article.

Other associations have or have expressed interest in turning in petition articles for milfoil control and the matter of having a blanket article for all areas was discussed.

Read the story at link.


Lower Hudson PRISM meeting on November 19

The next Lower Hudson PRISM meeting is scheduled for Thursday November 19th from 1-3:30 at the DEC Region 3 Office in New Paltz. The meeting will follow the mile-a-minute project meeting (see below), so people can attend both.


Ed McGowan

Here are the final details for the next Mile-a-Minute project of the Hudson Valley meeting:

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2009
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: NP Conference Room 126B-Catskill (name of room)
DEC Region 3 Office
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561

The meeting will consist of a few organized presentations and end with open discussion. Agenda coming soon. Unfortunately we will not be visiting a weevil site as previously mentioned - there won't be much to look at.

This meeting will serve as a wrap-up/re-cap of the season and provide guidance for those interested in preparing for management of mile-a-minute next season. Think of it as a mini workshop on how to get weevils for biocontrol - this will be explained in detail and there will be experienced and knowledgeable people there to answer questions regarding weevils.

Bring lunch.

Stephanie Stanczak


Invasive Plant Inventory and Survey Methods for Land Managers: A Web Seminar Series, scheduled for January-February 2010

Center for Invasive Plant Management, USDA Western Integrated Pest Management, Montana State University, University of Idaho, Utah State University, Michigan State University

Project Summary

CIPM received a grant from the Western IPM Center to develop and present a series of six interactive web seminars on invasive plant inventory and survey methods. The FREE seminar series will be based on chapters from the publication Inventory and Survey Methods for Nonindigenous Plant Species (L.J. Rew and M.L. Pokorny, editors, 2006, Montana State University Extension). CIPM coordinated and funded the development and printing of the publication, which presents practical inventory and survey methods that are successfully applied over large areas, and provides guidance on selecting methods to best meet the objectives of an integrated pest management strategy. Six chapters from the publication will be presented. Presenters are indicated in bold and are the chapter authors except where noted.

* Getting Started: Fundamentals of Nonindigenous Plant Species Inventory/Survey
Monica L. Pokorny, Steven A. Dewey, and Steven R. Radosevich
Erik Lehnhoff of CIPM will be presenting.

* Landscape-Scale Wildland Inventories/Surveys: Utah State University Methods
Steven A. Dewey and Kimberly A. Andersen

* Digital Aerial Sketch-Mapping for Early Detection and Mapping
Jason W. Karl and Mark Porter

* Stratified Random Sampling Method
Lisa J. Rew and Bruce D. Maxwell

* Adaptive Sampling Design
Timothy S. Prather

* Remote Sensing for Detection of Nonindigenous Species
Timothy S. Prather and Lawrence W. Lass

The six-week web seminar series is scheduled for January-February, 2010. There is no fee but advanced registration is required. If you would like to be notified when registration opens, please email the project coordinator at mmcfadzen[at]



EPA Proposes New Pesticide Labeling to Control Spray Drift and Protect Human Health

Release date: 11/04/2009
Contact Information: Dale Kemery kemery.dale[at]

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out proposed guidance for new pesticide labeling to reduce off-target spray and dust drift. The new instructions, when implemented, will improve the clarity and consistency of pesticide labels and help prevent harm from spray drift. The agency is also requesting comment on a petition to evaluate children’s exposure to pesticide drift.

“The new label statements will help reduce problems from pesticide drift,” said Steve Owens, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “The new labels will carry more uniform and specific directions on restricting spray drift while giving pesticide applicators clear and workable instructions.”

The new instructions will prohibit drift that could cause adverse health or environmental effects. Also, on a pesticide-by-pesticide basis, EPA will evaluate scientific information on risk and exposure based on individual product use patterns. These assessments will help the agency determine whether no-spray buffer zones or other measures – such as restrictions on droplet or particle size, nozzle height, or weather conditions – are needed to protect people, wildlife, water resources, schools and other sensitive sites from potential harm.

In addition to the draft notice on pesticide-drift labeling, EPA is also seeking comment on a draft pesticide drift labeling interpretation document that provides guidance to state and tribal enforcement officials. A second document provides background information on pesticide drift, a description of current and planned EPA actions, a reader’s guide explaining key terms and concepts, and specific questions on which EPA is seeking input. These documents and further information are available in docket EPA–HQ–OPP–2009–0628 at

In a second Federal Register notice, EPA is also requesting comment on a petition filed recently by environmental and farm worker organizations. The petitioners ask EPA to evaluate children’s exposure to pesticide drift and to adopt, on an interim basis, requirements for “no-spray” buffer zones near homes, schools, day-care centers, and parks. EPA will evaluate this new petition and take whatever action may be appropriate after the evaluation is complete. For further information and to submit comments, please see docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0825 at

More information: Link.


Invasive Asian carp one flood away from Great Lakes

Jennifer Janssen

Advocates for the Great Lakes at the National Wildlife Federation are worried that all of the work to restore the Great Lakes could come to nothing if immediate action is not taken to keep Asian carp from invading Lake Michigan.

Only a narrow floodplain lies between Asian carp in the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that leads directly into the Great Lakes. In September, researchers found the first evidence that the carp may be present in the Des Plaines dangerously far north of an electric barrier in the canal.

One flood is all it will take to merge the waters of the Des Plaines and the nearby Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal -- allowing the invasive carp direct access to the Lakes. This is not a far-fetched scenario — flooding merged the two waters in 2008 and 2007. [...]

Great Lakes advocates are urging that a barrier must be built immediately on the low, narrow strip of land between the potentially carp-infested Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Temporary fixes, including sandbags or an earthen berm are necessary to keep Des Plaines waters and carp out of the Great Lakes in the coming weeks and months.

Fortunately, Congress just approved funding and authorization for the Army Corps of Engineers to take emergency action to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species. However, that is no guarantee that a barrier will be constructed in time - before the next flood.

To learn more about the Asian carp and invasive species solutions, visit the Great Lakes Regional Center.

Read the full story at link.


AMERICORP OPPORTUNITY starting November 16

We are looking for anyone interested in nature, conservation of natural resources, and the protection of urban woodlands. AmeriCorps is dedicated to helping local people solve pressing community problems.

Location: Arlington, VA (housing and relocation costs are not provided)

Anticipated Start Date: November 16, 2009

The time allocation for position will be approximately as follows:

1. Invasive plant removal under the immediate, direct supervision of either County staff, or the staff of partner organizations (75%)

2. Environmental rehabilitation activities, including planting, stream clean out, and stream bank stabilization (15%)

3. Training activities related to invasive plant removal, environmental rehabilitation, and local ecology (10%)

To apply: send cover letter, resume/CV, and three references to mortega[at]


Garlic farmer uses compost harvested from invasive plants at Carding Mill Pond

By Nancy Hershfield/Special to the Town Crier

SUDBURY, MA - While others are completing their harvesting, Sudbury resident Michael O’Connor is just beginning to get his crop in the ground. Fall is planting season for garlic, and O’Connor is planting his new garlic field off Dutton Road (the field runs along the northwest side of Carding Mill Pond). He expects to have 15,000 cloves planted by Veteran’s Day, which he hopes will result in close to a ton of garlic next July.

Under a license from the town to farm the field, O’Connor is looking to supply area gardeners and farmers with localized, acclimated, organically grown hard-neck seed garlic in a limited amount by next summer. His garlic farm, Old Sudbury Garlic Farm, plans to distribute its handcrafted garlic through local farmers markets and online.

What’s special about his farm, explains O’Connor, is its sustainable cycle of local fertilizer and farm fields. To help grow his fields, O’Connor is composting invasive plant species harvested in August from adjoining Carding Mill Pond for "good use" in his garlic beds.

Invasive weeds, like water chestnuts, duck weed (Lemna), Hydrodictyon and Elodea canadensis, have been overrunning Carding Mill Pond behind Wayside Inn for years, causing fish to die from lack of oxygen and forcing many birds and waterfowl to leave during the summer because they can’t swim through the overgrowth. For the past six summers, the Hop Brook Protection Agency (HBPA) has been spearheading a harvesting project to rid the pond of the weeds so more wildlife can return to the pond.

Harvesting Carding Mill Pond

Every summer, HBPA borrows an aquatic plant harvester and conveyor from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (GMNWR) to cut the weeds. The harvester looks like a large floating lawnmower, and has underwater blades that cut the weeds and a conveyor belt that collects the vegetation. The vegetation is then transferred onto a shore conveyor belt, which transfers the weeds into a dump truck the Sudbury Department of Public Works provides. This year the harvester took out 57.5 truckloads of vegetation from the pond (nearly half the amount compared to last year).

"There is a real beauty in using the harvested material from the mill pond as composted organic matter for the neighboring farm field," said O’Connor. "It is a sustainable cycle of local material that is inexpensive, organic, abundant and very beneficial to the soil. Along with the re-mineralization of the fields, I believe that it will dramatically boost the strength and activity of the soil web, the result of which I hope will be exceptionally nutrient dense vegetables." [...]

Read the full story at link.


Pembroke, MA pond treatment could affect endangered species

By Steve Annear
Pembroke Mariner & Reporter
Thu Nov 05, 200

Pembroke, MA - Treatment of invasive plant growth in Oldham Pond will be delayed following the discovery of an endangered species of mussel in the pond.

The Pembroke Watershed Association received word from the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP), part of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, on Oct. 22 that the copper sulfate used to treat the invasive plants could have “short and long-term damage” on the species.

“They found the Eastern Pond Mussel, they are saying the copper sulfate can’t be used in the pond because it could effect it,” said Ray Holman, president of the PWA.

According to the NHESP, the proposed treatment would result in interference with eating, breeding, and migratory behavior and poses a risk of harming the rare mussels.

Holman said the PWA would have to come up with some other way to treat the pond, now that a copper sulfate treatment is not an option.

Aquatic Control Technology Inc., the company hired by the PWA to treat the pond, was scheduled to begin pond treatment last summer. The company had to hold off while a mussel biologist investigated the pond to see if two rare species were living there. Only one was discovered, the Eastern Pond Mussel.

The PWA will hold the $12,660 reserved for treatment, which was approved by Town Meeting voters last May.

According to Holman, they will hold onto the money until an alternative option is offered.

“Some money has already been spent for all these different things being done between Aquatic Control. We just have to wait and come up with something,” he said.

Read the story at link.


Great Lakes get $475 million funding boost

Environmentalists laud additional federal funding

By Jerry Zremski
News Washington Bureau Chief
Updated: November 06, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Great Lakes will get an unprecedented boost in federal funding now that President Obama, almost unnoticed, has signed bipartisan legislation.

Obama approved the $475 million, one-year infusion of funding for the lakes last week when he quietly signed an annual spending bill for the Interior Department and environmental programs, which include his Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. [...]

The funding greatly enhances the odds that Buffalo will receive federal funding for a $60 million project to remove contaminated sediments from the Buffalo River, said Julie O’Neill, executive director of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

It also boosts the chances of winning local funding for a habitat rehabilitation project on the Niagara River, O’Neill said. Buffalo is in a better position than many communities in bidding for federal money for such projects because matching local funds already have been specified, she said.

The $475 million represents nearly a doubling of the previous annual federal commitment to the lakes.

In addition to funding the cleanup of contaminated sediments, the money will help to restore wetlands and other wildlife habitats and to prevent flooding. It also will be used to try to stop invasive species such as the Asian carp, which is threatening to invade Lake Michigan from the Illinois River. [...]

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said the money will provide a long-term boost to the region’s economy. “Cleaning up the Great Lakes will allow the region’s fishing and tourism industry to grow, providing much-needed jobs and millions of dollars in revenue,” he said.

Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Ohio, said on the House floor last week that the money was the first major federal commitment to the Great Lakes since he came to Congress in the mid-1990s.

But support for the measure was not unanimous among the region’s congressional delegation. Rep. Chris Lee, R-Clarence, voted against the spending bill that included the Great Lakes money.

Lee said that he supported the Great Lakes effort and had signed letters lobbying for it but that he could not vote for the legislation that included the money because the $32 billion measure was 17 percent bigger than the previous year’s spending bill for the same programs.

“I’m all for supporting the environment, but this bill was spending money we didn’t have,” he said. “It was excessive in its nature.”

The Interior Department spending bill probably won’t be Lee’s only opportunity to vote for increased Great Lakes funding. In February, Obama is expected to propose a budget for the next federal fiscal year that will include another increase.

“The fact that this is just the beginning of a five-year, $5 billion commitment is a very exciting thing,” O’Neill said.

Read the story at link.


Kudzu-eating pest found in northeast Georgia

By Sharon Dowdy
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences University of Georgia

Researchers from the University of Georgia and Dow AgroSciences have identified a kudzu-eating pest in northeast Georgia that has never been found in the Western Hemisphere. Unfortunately, the bug also eats legume crops, especially soybeans.

The bug has tentatively been identified as the bean plataspid (Megacopta cribraria), a native to India and China. It is pea-sized and brownish in color with a wide posterior, said Dan Suiter, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

“It kind of waddles when it walks on a surface, but it flies really well,”
he said.

It’s also commonly called lablab bug and globular stink bug. Like its distant cousin the stink bug, when threatened, it releases a chemical that stinks.

Suiter and CAES diagnostician Lisa Ames first saw the pest when samples were sent to them in mid-October from UGA Cooperative Extension agents and pest control professionals in Barrow, Gwinnett and Jackson counties. Samples have since arrived from Clarke, Hall, Greene, Oconee and Walton counties.

Homeowners first reported the pest after finding large groups of the bugs lighting on their homes.

“At one home in Hoshton, Ga., we found the bugs all over the side of a lady’s house,” Suiter said. “There is a kudzu patch behind her home that provides food, and they were attracted to the light color of the siding. At this time of year, the insects are most active in the afternoon when it gets warm.”

In addition to homes, the bug is attracted to light-colored vehicles.

The week the bug samples arrived at Suiter’s lab, Joe Eger was visiting. The Dow AgroSciences field biologist has 35 years of experience studying the bean plataspid insect and has named new genera and species and identified the insect for museums across the world.

Eger’s identification was confirmed by David Rider at North Dakota State University and Tom Henry at the Smithsonian Institution.

Suiter believes the bug arrived here by accident.

“We do have the world’s busiest airport here, but we’ll never know how the bug first got here,” he said. “When it found kudzu here, it found a food source, and it doesn’t have any natural enemies here that we are aware of.”

Suiter says the pest’s populations are, for now, contained to northeast Georgia. It’s an “invasive species feeding on an invasive species.”

“We have no idea what the long-term impact on kudzu will be, but we also have to consider the fact that it feeds on crops, too,” he said. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword. It eats kudzu, which is good, but it also stinks and gets on homes. The ominous threat is that it eats soybeans and other legume crops.”

“We will be working with the University of Georgia and USDA to find the best way of dealing with this insect,” said Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin. “At this time, there is not enough information to determine its current range and what its potential as a pest may be.”

Representatives of each agency met this week to form an action plan. Information has been sent to Extension agents and pest control companies across the state.

County agents are asked to look for the bug, scout kudzu patches and report any findings to Suiter. Homeowners who find the pest should call their local Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.


Aquatic Invasive Species Vector Management: A Prevention Solution, December 2, 2009 workshop - update

If you are planning on attending the Mid-Atlantic Regional Panel of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and Maryland Sea Grant's one-day workshop:
Aquatic Invasive Species Vector Management: A Prevention Solution, December 2, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland at the Admiral Fell Inn, note that the special conference hotel rate ends November 8. If you are thinking of attending, it would be a good idea to make a reservation before Sunday November 8.

For registration and full details visit:

Hope to see you there, further details below.


Fredrika Moser and Jonathan McKnight

Workshop Details

This one-day event will bring regional attention to aquatic invasive species introduction pathways.

The Mid-Atlantic region has an important and timely opportunity to move beyond managing individual species and toward a more holistic approach – managing the pathways or vectors for invasions. The workshop will focus on preventing the introduction of non-native aquatic species through vector management. The workshop outcome will provide recommendations on strategies states, local governments, NGOs, legislatures, the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Mid-Atlantic Panel, and other groups and individuals can pursue to manage vectors and prevent unwanted introductions of non-native species.

Please come to this workshop ready to participate and contribute to developing recommendations for advancing invasive species vector research and management.

See you there!

Workshop steering committee: Jonathan McKnight (MD DNR), Fredrika Moser (MDSG), Lisa Moss (USFWS), Read Porter (ELI), Greg Ruiz (SERC) and Mario Tamburri (UMCES, ACT).


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