Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Chesapeake Bay Field Office Efforts Control Invasive Plant In Bay's Tidal Marshes
Northeast Region, November 8, 2004
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Chesapeake Bay Field Office worked with private, state and federal partners during the past year to control over 500 acres of phragmites in tidal marsh areas of the Chesapeake Bay.

Phragmites is an invasive wetland plant that forms dense stands, displacing native species and decreasing overall plant diversity in an area. Marshlands inhabited by expansive stands of phragmites provide poor food, habitat, and shelter for migratory waterfowl and other wildlife species.

In the largest project, the field office contributed the herbicide used by Maryland Department of Natural Resources to control the plant on 180 acres of land along the Patuxent River in Prince George's and Calvert County. Spraying was done by helicopter. The area has a high priority for phragmites control in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed based on aerial surveys of the plant's extent.

The field office has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service through its Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program to control phragmites on private lands in six Maryland counties. Through that program, field office staff continued control efforts in coastal marshes at Irish Grove, a Maryland Ornithological Society wildlife sanctuary on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Staff also continued control efforts in coastal marshes at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, a 700 acre preserve operated by the Wildlife Trust of North America in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. Staff sprayed 30 acres on a 300 acre property owned by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and 75 acres on two preserves owned by The Nature Conservancy in Talbot and Caroline County. Efforts will continue in 2005 to restore these marshes to their previous natural state.

For more information, contact Julie Thompson at the Northeast Region's Chesapeake Bay Ecological Services Field Office.

Contact Info: Jennifer Lapis, (413) 253-8303, jennifer_lapis@fws.gov
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