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The Foundation's priority projects include:

Developing cooperative R&D programs with private, academic and government entities.

Invasive aquatic plants are a national problem in scope, and local resources alone cannot solve it. The problem demands national attention and requires national cooperation. The AERF is in the forefront fighting this problem working with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, academic institutions and the private sector in valuable research programs that must continue to receive the resources required to develop innovative and effective techniques for managing the next wave of exotic plant invaders.

 

The AERF and USAERDC

The AERF has a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS. This CRADA allows for the joint conduct of research to evaluate environmentally sound chemical formulations and application technologies for selectively managing aquatic invasive species. In addition, the collaborative R&D with ERDC has fostered research projects with leading universities, substantial efforts in training graduate students, a variety of public information and outreach activities, and regulatory interactions on both the state and Federal level. The entire aquatic plant management community has benefited greatly from this government - private sector partnership.

Examples of Foundation partnerships:

Invasive tamarisk impacts - Southwest

In the arid southwest, the thirsty riparian tree invader, tamarisk, threatens both the economy and the fragile ecology by consuming more water than native plants. Analysis of tamarisk's effect on water availability is key in guiding management action.  Good news on this issue comes from the growing number of actual restoration projects that report positive changes in water use following tamarisk removal and revegetation. Results, from studies conducted by the University of Santa Cruz, will aid the National Invasive Species Council's economic assessment of tamarisk management options for the west

Regulatory interactions - EPA

Registrants, agency and academic research groups, and the regulatory community are evaluating reduced-risk compounds to control invasive aquatic and wetland plants. Emphasis is placed on products to control species that have developed resistance to the most widely used herbicides. Results of studies from a multi-tiered approach utilizing growth chambers, outdoor mesocosms, experimental ponds,  and field trials will be available for environmental and human health risk assessments. Interaction with the USEPA Office of Pesticide Programs and key state regulatory agencies ensures a timely and cost effective process for securing aquatic labels for environmentally compatible compounds.

Improving control of hydrilla - Florida

Several new, reduced-risk herbicides are being evaluated for improving control of hydrilla in Florida and other Southeastern states. Cooperators include the FL Department of Environmental Protection, the University of Florida's Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Results of these studies will provide guidance to water resource managers for the selective control of hydrilla in lakes, reservoirs, rivers and canals. These species-selective control techniques will minimize impacts to water quality and to nontarget plants and animals.

Phragmites control - Great Lakes

Phragmites, an invasive grass, is destroying native wetlands and wildlife habitat around the Great Lakes.  Through cooperative work with local waterfowl organizations,  other private groups and the MI Department of Natural Resources, integrated methods (burning, mowing, chemical, flooding) are being developed to remove phragmites, restoring species rich hemi-marshes and native lake plain prairie communities. Restoration sites are located on the shores of Lake St. Clair, and results of these studies will be used to develop a user-friendly manual for phragmites management in the northern tier states.

 

   
   

 

 

 

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