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2007 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Pea Island NWR Phragmites Control
Region: 4
Station: Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Brian Van Druten 252-473-1131 ext 233
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
Pea Island NWR was established May 17,1937 and originally consisted of 5,834 acres of barrier island habitats including open beach, emergent marsh, dunes, and maritime brush. There has been a loss of 1,175 acres of habitat due to erosion from both the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound. The remaining acres are vital habitat for wintering waterfowl, nesting American Black Ducks, migrating shorebirds, nesting terns and American Oystercatchers, and secretive marsh birds such as rails and sparrows. Invasive Phragmites has been ever increasing on Pea Island despite efforts at control. Currently we estimate there are 70 acres of Phragmites located within the refuge. Current staff sizes restrict the amount of survey and monitoring of phragmites we can accomplish, which restricts our control capabilities. We propose to train (half-day) refuge volunteers, recruited through our Friends group, on phragmites identification, data collection, and the proper use of a GPS unit. The trained volunteers will be assigned areas to locate Phragmites and use the GPS to collect the location and size of each stand of Phragmites by walking its perimeter. We will also recruit local paddlers to go to the islands in our impoundments to GPS stands there. Paddlers will cause less disruption to the birds using the impoundments. The GPS data will then be incorporated into the Refuges GIS to create maps for control. We will also take density measurements, stems per square meter, at a random point within the stand to use as an evaluation tool for effectiveness of herbicide. Some volunteers will also be asked to assist in July when Refuge staff applies the herbicide (glyphosate), with volunteer focus being the transportation of clean water to the spray sites from the Refuge Headquarters in order to reduce turnaround time in ground herbicide application. The following spring, we will have the volunteers return to the field to collect the stems per square meter within the treated stands and to collect new GPS data on the perimeters of the Phragmites stands.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Common reed Phragmites australis
Project Status: Completed
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
VA_FriendsGrp                                 VA_Other
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Completed - Interns, hired through our Friends Group and our Resident Volunteers assisted our refuge staff by ferrying equipment and operators, filling the nurse tank with water and delivering to the spray site, assisting with equipment repair, and creating a poster for the refuge visitors' center about local phragmites issues. Spring 08 - Unfortunately we lost our key volunteers on this project to service in Iraq. We were able to GPS final Phragmites stands on south end of refuge totalling 13.8 acres and perform some post-treatment regrowth numbers prior to retreatment in 2008.
Total Number of Volunteers: 8
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 60
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
Existing - Used Interns hired by our Refuge Friends Group and Resident Volunteers 'hired' by our refuge Public Use program. New - Through outreach we met some local paddlers who were former Green Berets that are very experienced in GPS operation. They have agreed to GPS our phragmites stands within our impoundments. It has been very exciting to get volunteers with their experience to assist with this work!


Project Results:
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).
-applied herbicide to 46.8 acres of phragmites -we were able to GPS all but one known phragmites stand on the refuge -made new partnership with paddlers mentioned above -creation of poster for the visitors' center to help inform the public about phragmites control -Good PR contacts made by using the visitors' center as a refill point for the equipment when convenient. We had many come up to check out the Marshmaster and then were able to educate them about phragmites. -19/58 stands sprayed were < 0.25 ac.
Number of Acres Treated: 46.8
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: Inventoried- 2200 acres/ Phragmites mapped - 53 acres
Number of Acres Restored:


Budget: Account for funds in broad categories such as equipment, volunteer stipends, travel, coordinator salary/contract, etc.

Total Grant Amount:

$ $2600.00

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies $1629.33 63
Chemical $470.67 18
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends $500 19
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials
TOTAL $2600 100

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
Very helpful. The biggest obstacle was that we needed to begin our spray work before the money arrived. Some of the tasks we had for volunteers had to be accomplished by refuge staff. Volunteers were still very helpful during this project.


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