2006 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form
PROJECT BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Reduction of invasive cattails and other vegetation in fresh water impoundments
Harris Neck NWR
Name and Phone Number
(Up to 250 words)
Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge ponds are managed and maintained as feeding and nesting areas for wading birds, as well as habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl and shorebirds; breeding wood ducks, amphibian and fish species. In accomplishing this, a dynamic water and land management regime needs to be implemented on eight impoundments totaling 75 acres. The refuge is an extremely critical link in the Atlantic Flyway for migrating waterfowl, wading birds, and Neotropical songbirds. The ponds on the tract are considered critical habitat for the endangered Wood Stork. To be efficient, the ponds must have enough open water habitat to allow for access and utilization by wading birds, especially Wood Storks, who come to the ponds seeking a safe haven for nesting as well as food to feed their nestlings. Native plants can be classified as invasive when high enough densities suppress all other plant growth and a mono-specific composition prevails. Maintaining this low percentage of emergents also encourages wading birds to nest in the impoundments. The impoundments on Harris Neck NWR have increased in cattail and other mono-specific vegetation densities which are now affecting the wood stork nesting and feeding areas. Although aerial herbicide spraying will work in many areas of the impoundments, some areas, near the waters edge and/or presence of large trees are inaccessible to the helicopter. A motor craft with a spot sprayer or an ATV with sprayer and boom (on drained ponds or ditches) are the only possible means of controlling the encroaching vegetation.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:
(Check all that apply)
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
The volunteers performed a variety of different jobs depending on their physical ability and/or experience. Jobs ranged from simple tasks such as helping to draw down and flood ponds for pre and post spraying, to strenuous work of carrying heavy boxes of herbicide to the staging site, to the experienced knowledge of an emergency need to rebuild a carburetor on the one thousand gallon herbicide holding tank. A variety of other jobs which made it possible for a successful aerial spraying of seven ponds included: " before and after photography of vegetation " GPS of photo points " GPS of vegetation (or lack thereof due to severe density of infestation) " Installing the ATV boom sprayer and calculating volumetric output of the boom " Calculating the herbicide/surfactant/buffer/water (HSBW) mixture " Mixing the HSBW " Cleaning all equipment and labeling containers properly " Triple washing and cutting used chemical containers for proper disposal In 2007, volunteers helped with mechanical means along with continued use of herbicides to maintain the open water environment.
Total Number of Volunteers:
Total Number of Volunteer Hours:
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
Give an overview of the results of the project. Include quantifiable measure of success, such as maps produced, efficacy of control measures, number of sites where invasions were detected early and responded to, number of community contacts, etc. (Up to 250 words).
The aerial spraying of seven impoundments (approximately 60 acres) on emergent and floating mats of vegetation showed great success within weeks of the herbicide treatment. In four weeks all vegetation that made contact with the herbicide show no signs of life whereas plants near the shore line under trees or floating vegetative mats hidden under other taller plant where still green. These areas where either unable to be reached by the helicopter or were so protected by taller plants that the herbicide did not make contact to the leaf surface. In 2007,volunteers and staff continued to reduced emergent vegetation near the pond edges and maintained the open water habitat of the impoundments. Maps of the spray lines, both aerial and ground, were produced along with GPSing and mapping the open water acreage of the feeding ponds. The maps are available at Harris Neck NWR.
Number of Acres Treated:
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped:
Number of Acres Restored:
The wood stork feeding ponds were 95% restored but continued maintenances needs to occur on a yearly basis. Woody pond (the breeding pond) was 80% (30 acres) converted to open water from emergent vegetation.
Account for funds in broad categories such as equipment, volunteer stipends, travel, coordinator salary/contract, etc.
Total Grant Amount:
Breakdown of Expenditures:
Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
The program was extremely useful in order to keep our ponds open for the endangered wood storks that nest in one pond and feed in several other impoundments, along with other waterbirds. One improvement that I would like to see is to afford Habitat herbicide as compared to Rodeo.
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