A collaborative management strategy allows for a variety of treatment options and methods that support both integrated pest management and adaptive management principles.
The CWMA initially prioritized areas with large acreages and dense stands of Phragmites. The majority of treatments undertaken were aerial herbicide applications using contacted helicopters. The herbicide was a mix of glyphosate, imazapyr, and a surfactant. Removal of standing dead biomass, following herbicide application, varied based on agency capacity and resources, and surrounding wild land-urban interface considerations such as the presence of residential areas or marinas. In some areas standing dead biomass was removed using prescribed fire and mowing or left to decompose.
Follow-up herbicide treatments in subsequent years, have been aerial and ground-based applications using ATVs, Marsh Master, and Argos. As the density of Phragmites decreases, backpack spraying and hand-wicking will be used for more selective treatments, especially in areas where native plants are recovering. Flooding is also being used in areas with water management capacity. However, because of the wildland-urban interface and lack of water management capacity in some areas the best management options may not be available or reasonable for use. Additionally, some methods (e.g., prescribed fire) require specialized training and tools.
The Marsh Master amphibious vehicle, purchased with grant funding, is used for mowing Phragmites, supporting prescribed burns, and spraying herbicide. This equipment resource will remain with the CWMA after the grant period, providing a critical and efficient tool for continued long-term management of Phragmites.
In 2015, the CWMA began a new effort to survey, map, and control a suite of additional invasive plant species in coastal wetlands.