Walnut Beach Invasive Vegetation Control

Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Walnut Beach is located in Ashtabula County, Ohio, and consists of approximately 43 acres of wetland habitat along Lake Erie. In addition, the site features a unique sand dune system along a migratory bird pathway. This ecologically unique habitat is home to rare beach plants such as Ammophila breviligulata (American beach grass) and Lathyrus japonicus (inland beach pea).

Davey was retained by Ecology and Environment Engineering, P.C. to implement a multi-year demonstration project funded by the USACE. In summer 2014, Davey biologists treated approximately 20 acres of invasive vegetation, divided into three units, with glyphosate, imazamox, or a combination of both as part of the project. While all invasive plant species were treated, species that were specifically targeted as part of the demonstration include Alnus glutinosa (European alder), Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort), and Phragmites australis (common reed).

To apply the herbicide treatments, Davey biologists used several methods, all of which were customized to the species being treated. In dense areas, a skid-mounted spray tank was used to control common reed and mugwort. In areas where invasive plants are sparse, or where sensitive, threatened, or endangered species are present, treatments were carefully applied with backpack sprayers. Rodeo®, an aquatic approved glyphosate product, and Clearcast®, an aquatic safe imazamox product, were used to treat the invasive vegetation. Since many rare and state-listed herbaceous species occur within the project area, chemical applications were highly selective in non-monoculture treatment areas.

The goal of this ongoing project is twofold: to restore native shoreline habitat by eradicating invasive plant species from Walnut Beach using both mechanical and chemical treatment methods; and to use the site as a demonstration area to study the effectiveness of different control methods, including various herbicide formulations. The second year of treatment will occur in summer of 2015.

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