Resource Management

Picking invasive water chestnut - Lamar Gore/USFWS.

Refuge managers employ a variety of tools to support the goal of biological diversity.

Impoundment Pools

Water level manipulation in the refuge's two impoundments at the Concord Unit creates favorable conditions for a diversity of wildlife species. One pool is drained earlier in the season to encourage the growth of native forage plants that benefit fall-migrating waterfowl. The other pool is drained later in the summer to expose the invertebrate-rich mud flats that provide food for wading birds such as herons and egrets. Both pools are flooded in the fall and remain inundated until the following spring and summer. In addition, the refuge's new water level management strategy has resulted in a decrease of the alien invasive water chestnut.

Invasive Species

The occurrence of invasive plants (native and non-native), at Great Meadows has a depreciative effect on the value of refuge lands and waters to wildlife. The first step in managing invasive species is to determine the identity, distribution, and prevalence of each species. Refuge biologists, assisted by a group of committed volunteers, are mapping invasive species. Data collected in the field with geographic positioning system (GPS) units will ultimately be mapped and analyzed using the station's new geographic information system (GIS) equipment. The resulting inventory provides the baseline information needed to produce a new habitat management plan for the refuge.

SuAsCo Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) Partnership

The Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers (SuAsCo) watershed Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) is a group of federal, state and local land owners and land managers committed to controlling invasive species within the SuAsCo watershed. We signed our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in May 2009 and currently have 32 participating organizations. We have established a steering committee, administrative subcommittee, control subcommittee, early detection subcommittee, and an education and outreach subcommittee. To learn more about this cooperative effort please read our 5 year management plan and brochure.