Watch Out… Purple Loosestrife!

Watch Out… Purple Loosestrife!

With financial support from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network, and the American Transmission Company, Wisconsin Wetlands Association coordinated a late-summer citizen-based inventory of purple loosestrife infestations in thirteen Great Lakes coastal counties. Over 130 volunteers logged more than 6,000 miles, covering highways, by-ways and back roads as well as lakes and rivers in search of the invasive loosestrife.This survey represents the most extensive inventory of the invasive loosestrife in the past 16 years.

All occurrences of the exotic plant, with a special focus on large infestations, were recorded on standard data sheets and maps. The data are presently being entered into a web-accessible GIS system through the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC). The website is: www.glifwc-maps.org As a follow-up to the inventory,WWA and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are coordinating workshops in four coastal locations this fall to train volunteers in the biological control of purple loosestrife. Teachers are the primary target audience of the training program. WWA has developed a teacher’s guidebook to purple loosestrife ecology and bio-control, and is presently sharing the guide with teachers in the hope that the teachers will engage their students in the project next spring and summer.

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.