Virginia CZM Program 2006 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

10.05

Grantee:

Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation-Division of Natural Heritage

Project Title:

Management and Education to Control Phragmites on the Seaside of Virginia's Eastern Shore

Project Description as Proposed:

The Eastern Shore Seaside is experiencing a rapid invasion by non-native Phragmites. During the past decade (mid-1990's to 2004), the amount of Phragmites on the Seaside has approximately doubled. A 2004 aerial census conducted under the Seaside Heritage Program measured 2,024 acres of Phragmites on the Seaside, with about two-thirds along the mainland-lagoon ecotone and the remainder on the barrier islands. This recent census and mapping of Seaside Phragmites has established a sound basis for prioritized control treatments, serves as a benchmark for future assessments of Phragmites spread and control measure effectiveness, and provides landowners a key tool for assessing the extent of Phragmites on their property.

The scope of work for Year Five consists of three primary components:

1) Continued Phragmites control treatments and monitoring on high priority locations, with a goal of controlling at least 150 acres using the approved wetland herbicide, 'Habitat.' Treatments will be applied only on lands held in the public interest.

2) A continued series of educational programs to inform Eastern Shore landowners about methods to control Phragmites on their property. In addition in 2006-07, a new brochure on controlling Phragmites in Virginia will also be developed.

3) A new effort to develop a management plan for Phragmites on the Eastern Shore Seaside will be initiated. A draft plan will be prepared with the expectation that a final plan will be completed during Year 6 of the Seaside Heritage Program.

Federal Funding:

$70,000

Project Contact:

Richard K Myers - 804.371.6204: Rick.Myers@dcr.virginia.gov

Project Status:

10/1/2006 - 9/30/2007; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Phragmites Control Booklet for Landowners (PDF)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

Summary: During Year 5 of the Seaside Heritage Program, DCR again focused on Phragmites control and education efforts.  Specific objectives in Year 5 were: 1. Conduct a series of educational programs to inform Eastern Shore landowners about the reasons and methods for controlling Phragmites on their property. 2. Conduct additional Phragmites control and monitoring actions. 3. Develop a new technical guidebook that focuses on informing landowners about the reasons and methods for controlling Phragmites. Printing costs for this booklet are provided in FY 2007 Task 10.03. 4. Develop a draft Phragmites Management Plan for the Eastern Shore Seaside.Results  1) A series of four workshops was conducted in August 2007 which was attended by 42 Eastern Shore landowners.  Participants were informed about the reasons and methods for controlling Phragmites.  Emphasis was placed on responsible use of approved herbicides.  Recommendations were made to use contracted pest control specialists and combine resources with neighboring landowners to bring costs down.  Maps and data developed from the 2004 DCR Seaside aerial census project (SHP Year 2) were made available to landowners for assessing quantities and locations of Phragmites currently occurring on their property.  The on-line Virginia Phragmites Mapping Application was introduced so that participating landowners could access mapped information via the internet, assess the Phragmites invasion on their own lands, and develop effective control strategies. 

2) High priority Seaside target areas held in the public interest were identified and Phragmites control treatments were applied in late summer 2007.  DCR staff worked closely with the landowner (NASA) to implement control measures for Phragmites at Wallops Island Launch Facility in Accomack County.  DCR contracted with an aerial pesticide applicator to treat a total of 150 acres of Phragmites at Wallops Island and spraying was completed in September 2007.  Additionally, both ground and aerial monitoring of areas treated on Parramore Island in 2005 and 2006 was performed during May and August of 2007.

3) A new technical guidebook on Phragmites control was developed and 1200 copies will be printed using FY 2007 Task 10.03 funds.  The booklet, titled 'Marsh Invader!  How to Identify and Combat One of Virginia's Most Invasive Plants: Phragmites' is downloadable from the Virginia CZM website at http://deq.virginia.gov/coastal/documents/task10-03-07.pdf.

4) A draft Phragmites Management Plan was developed for the Eastern Shore Seaside, incorporating numerous site specific recommendations for control that were identified in Year 4.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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