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2007 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Alligator River NWR Public Use Invasives Control
Region: 4
Station: Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Brian Van Druten 252-473-1131 ext 233
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge currently has problems with the spread of phragmites and alligatorweed. The alligatorweed is relatively new to the area and Hurricane Isabel in 2003 really helped spread it into our canal system. Currently the canals along the main highway through the refuge, US 64, and the Dare County C & D Landfill serve as the 2 sources for alligatorweed. Phragmites is present in many places on the Refuge and has spread into our marshes and along our road system within the Refuge. Current staff sizes restrict the amount of survey and monitoring of phragmites and alligatorweed we can accomplish, which in turn restricts our control capabilities. With this proposal, we would like to recruit volunteers to assist our control of phragmites and alligatorweed along our Public Use Facilities, which includes hiking trails, paddling trails, and a wildlife drive. Our hiking trails cover 1.3 miles, our paddling trails cover 13.7 miles, and our wildlife drive is 9.2 miles of graveled roads. Visitation in these areas in 2006 was 3,500 visitors to the hiking trails, 2,000 to the wildlife drive, and 16,000 to our paddling trails. We propose to train (half-day) refuge volunteers, recruited through our Friends group, on phragmites and alligatorweed identification, data collection, and the proper use of a handheld GPS unit. The trained volunteers will be assigned areas to locate phragmites and alligatorweed and use the GPS to collect the location and size of each stand of phragmites by walking its perimeter. The alligatorweed patches will be marked by a point due the way alligatorweed grows in our canals and ditches. The GPS data will then be incorporated into the Refuges GIS to create maps for control. We will also take density measurements for the phragmites, 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. After spraying the alligatorweed, we would ask volunteers to come back 3 weeks later to evaluate the effectiveness of the treated areas by identifying and living stems. The following spring, we will have the volunteers return to the field to collect the stems per square meter within the treated phragmites stands and to collect new GPS data on the perimeters of the phragmites stands. For the alligatorweed, we will have volunteers revisit the GPS points from the previous year and see if any resprouting has taken place. New patches would also be marked.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Common reed, phragmites Phragmites australis
Alligatorweed Alternanthera philoxeroides
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)
Total Number of Volunteers: 4
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 20
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
New - The newest partnership that we have created is with a local group called 'ThrillGuides'. Its owners are retired Green Berets who are eager to paddle and map alligatorweed on most of the remote waters of the refuge. Even though this is outside the original grant proposal, they are interested in helping more than initially asked! Existing - Used Interns hired by our Refuge Friends Group.


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).
We were able to GPS the location and treat all the known phragmites along both the hiking trails on the refuge, Creef Cut and Sandy Ridge Trails. There has been an addition of a boardwalk on the Creef Cut Trail which will require treatment in 2008. Volunteers were used in the spring to measure the efficacy of our phragmites spraying when new growth resprouted. Control rates were about 90% for the areas treated. The alligatorweed was treated along the Wildlife Drive but our results were less than desired. We did not get the die off that we had on other areas nearby. Volunteers were used to remap the areas for work in 2008. Volunteers have been trained in alligatorweed ID and GPS use and will be mapping the paddling trails for alligatorweed this fall. One of the most positive results has been the partnership mentioned above with the volunteers who are eager to map alligatorweed on the refuge.
Number of Acres Treated: 5
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 100
Number of Acres Restored:


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ $4100

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies $1889.69 46.5%
Chemical $1210.31 29.5%
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends $1000 24%
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials
TOTAL $4100

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
Again, getting the money earlier in the spray season would make it easier to complete the project within a year.


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