PAMF Active Adaptive Management Program (AAMP)

Phragmites managers located within Great Lakes states now have the opportunity to apply for AAMP funding to manage non-native Phragmites! Funding proposals are due no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 12, 2024. Learn more about this exciting opportunity below and view the Request for Proposals here (Available March 11). 

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What is AAMP?

AAMP is an extension of the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF; learn more about PAMF here!). The way that PAMF usually works (the “passive” implementation of PAMF) is that a predictive model provides participants with guidance on specific management combinations that are most likely to maximize efficiency and efficacy for each management unit enrolled and active over the next 12 months. This iterative process repeats annually, and the model improves with each subsequent cycle. The management guidance informed by data will continue to reduce the uncertainty surrounding management outcomes, eventually leading to improved best management practices for Phragmites management across the Great Lakes and beyond.

To speed up model learning, additional full data packages (two July monitoring reports and three management reports) are needed. The implementation of these project funds will inform an active phase of PAMF, the Active Adaptive Management Program (AAMP), where specific management combinations are selected in lieu of receiving model guidance. Out of the 16 management combinations that PAMF tracks, 12 combinations have been identified as priority combinations to seek additional data, including:

Overview of AAMP Funding Opportunity

An anticipated $390,000 is available to support Phragmites management activities using one of the 12 priority management combinations (see the “What is AAMP?” drop down above). Grantees will also collect and contribute monitoring and management data that will inform the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (PAMF) model which aims to improve regional best management practices.

Proposal Period: Accepting application proposals March 11 – April 12, 2024

Eligible Applicants: State, Tribal, or local units of government, lake associations/watershed protection groups, non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, universities/colleges, conservation groups

Grant Amount: A projected total budget of $390,000 will be available to applicants; individual grants are generally expected to range from $10,000 to $50,000

Project Period: July 1, 2024 – July 30, 2025

Geographic Scope: U.S. Great Lakes basin and surrounding watersheds

Contact: Sam Tank, Project Manager, Great Lakes Commission; 734-396-6055, sam@glc.org

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is eligible for funding? 

Eligible participants include state, Tribal, or local units of government, lake associations/watershed protection groups, non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, universities/colleges, conservation groups. 

Interested non-eligible individuals are encouraged to work with local invasive species management organizations to apply for funding. A list of eligible organizations is available online: https://www.greatlakesphragmites.net/resources/organizations/

2. What type of projects are a good fit for this funding opportunity?

The funding opportunity will be the best fit for managers within the U.S.-side of Great Lakes basin who are looking for limited funding to manage non-native Phragmites using one or more of the 12 priority management combinations (see the “What is AAMP” drop down above). Successful proposals will include plans to manage at least one discrete stand of Phragmites and submit associated monitoring and management data using established PAMF protocols. Other general selection criteria includes:

  • Applicant’s capacity to successfully manage the grant and achieve the goals of the proposed project, including development of an achievable project timeline;
  • Applicant’s commitment to managing non-native Phragmites through the implementation of a priority management combination stated above;
  • Reasonableness, necessity, and eligibility (of costs) of the proposed budget for the level of work proposed and for the expected benefits to be achieved.

3. How many management units can I include in my proposal?

There is no limit to the number of management units that can be included in a proposal. However, funding priority will be given to applicants who include multiple management units with plans to implement multiple management combinations.

4. Where did the 12 priority management combinations come from?

The uncertainty surrounding management action efficacy coupled with limited knowledge sharing has resulted in a costly trialanderror approach for many mangers. To address these issues, the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (GLPC) sought to design a program that would reduce uncertainty in Phragmites management by utilizing collective learning and Adaptive Management. Thus, PAMF was formed! The GLPC facilitated the formation of the PAMF Core Science Team and the Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG, composed of Phragmites experts from around the Great Lakes region, was tasked with designing the PAMF program.

Through a series of facilitated meetings and exercises, the TWG made decisions on what management actions and combinations of those actions should be included in PAMF. Decisions were also made regarding the program timing and data requirements. A series of specialized modelers were brought on to the PAMF Core Science Team and charged with building the PAMF learning model and propagating it with the initial data that was elicited from Phragmites experts across the region. Finally, monitoring protocols were designed to be accessible to all, requiring little time and effort commitment from participants, but robust enough to yield informative data and allow the PAMF model to learn over time.  

Since 2017, PAMF has been available to Phragmites managers as a free program designed to learn from the management actions of participating managers through a standardized data collection and submission process. The PAMF predictive model is run annually in August and structured to learn about the efficacy and efficiency of 10 management actions combined into 16 unique management combinations when paired with a set of annual monitoring reports from July, pre and post treatment. These combinations are timing specific, with one management action implemented during each of the three biological phases of Phragmites (translocating phase in the late summer-fall, dormant phase in the winter and early spring, and growing phase in the late spring-summer).

Data has only been successfully contributed on half of the management combinations, with limited to no data collected on 12 of the 16 combinations. To speed up model learning, additional full data packages (two July monitoring reports and three management reports) are needed. The implementation of these project funds will inform an active phase of PAMF, the Active Adaptive Management Program (AAMP), where specific management combinations are selected in lieu of receiving model guidance. Out of the 16 management combinations that PAMF tracks, 12 combinations have been identified as priority combinations to seek additional data.

5. What does it mean to participate in PAMF? 

Participation in PAMF is an exciting opportunity for Phragmites managers to contribute standardized monitoring and management data to help improve our understanding of how Phragmites responds to specific management combinations under different conditions. PAMF is strategically designed to require minimal additional time and effort on the part of managers and is estimated to be an additional 3-5 hour annual time commitment per management unit. 

PAMF participants first enroll a management unit (MU), or site they’d like to manage, by providing some basic background information on the site’s habitat, prior management, and establishing specific geographic boundaries. Then participants monitors the MU once a year in July for Phragmites stem density and establishment, along with a few other variables. We provide the few simple tools participants need for free! Participants manage their MU over the rest of the year and submit management data during each season.

During passive implementation of PAMF, the model provides participants with predictive guidance on specific management combinations that are most likely to maximize efficiency and efficacy for each unit enrolled and active over the next 12 months. This iterative process repeats annually, and the model improves with each subsequent cycle. The management guidance informed by data will continue to reduce the uncertainty surrounding management outcomes, eventually leading to improved best management practices for Phragmites management across the Great Lakes and beyond. The implementation of these project funds will inform an active phase of PAMF, the Active Adaptive Management Program (AAMP), where specific management combinations are selected in lieu of receiving model guidance.

The PAMF participant cycle is an iterative process with steps 2-5 repeated annually.

 

6. Why is genetic testing of Phragmites a pre-condition to receiving funding? 

There are three lineages of Phragmites, or the common reed, found in North America, and there is significant overlap in the approximate ranges of the native and non-native strains (see our “Is it Native or Non-native?” page for range maps). The PAMF model is designed to learn how non-native Phragmites responds to a specific set of management combinations. Thus, it is important to spend our limited resources managing non-native Phragmites while conserving native Phragmites on the landscape.

In many cases it can be difficult to distinguish between native and non-native Phragmites based on morphological characters alone. Using genetic testing methods developed by Saltonstall (20022003), leaf tissue DNA can be sequenced or analyzed with a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay to differentiate the native and non-native haplotypes. Free genetic testing is being offered to all successful applicants prior to the release of funding. 

7. Where can I access the PAMF trainings? 

Successful applicants and any supporting project staff responsible for data collection and/or submission must complete and pass the self-guided AAMP Participant Training Course (approximately a 2-hour time commitment). The course allows you to learn about PAMF in your own time and provides all of the resources you need to be successful. It can also be a great resource for training seasonal employees or volunteers to help enroll or monitor your Phragmites sites. Completing this course will earn you a certificate that states you are a certified PAMFer and have successfully been trained in how to collect and submit high quality data.

8. How do I generate a satellite map to show the project location? 

Any mapping application (e.g., Google Earth, Google Maps, ArcGIS, QGIS, PAMF’s management unit enrollment system, etc.) can be used to generate a satellite map as long as it contains the following attributes:

  1. The name you will use to identify the management unit (e.g., “Crossroads Patch 1”, “XYZ Park”) either placed directly on the map or described in the image’s file name or in the body of your application.
  2. A boundary line drawn to surround the management unit (the entire area over which you will be able to uniformly manage Phragmites).
  3. An indication of scale, such as a scale bar. Application or map should also include an estimate of the management unit’s area (i.e., acres, hectares, square meters).
  4. An indication of the location within the surrounding landscape, e.g., the latitude/longitude of the site, and/or nearby cross streets, cities, or other landmarks.

Satellite imagery showing a polygon boundary around a proposed example PAMF management unit. A scale bar and indication of latitude/longitude are also shown. 

PAMF’s own management unit mapping application can be used to provide this map. For instructions on how to enroll a management unit in the PAMF web hub, see these written instructions and this video.

9. What is involved with collecting soil samples to support the U.S. Geological Survey’s study?

AAMP participants will have the opportunity to participate in an optional soil study led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor, MI. Using collection containers, shipping containers, and postage provided by AAMP, participants will retrieve five small soil samples from the top 5 cm of soil at each eligible management unit and send samples to USGS on ice. The time spent to collect samples can be included in proposal budgets at 3 hours per management unit. 

10. Who should I contact with questions?

The primary point of contact for this request for proposals is Sam Tank, Project Manager, Great Lakes Commission, 734-396-6055, sam@glc.org.

11. Where can I find the RFP?

Coming March 11, 2024!

Management Unit Requirements and Recommendations

There are some important considerations when deciding which management units to enroll in PAMF:

  1. Consider your ability to uniformly manage within your management unit. If you were thinking of applying different management techniques within one area, break it up into multiple management units instead. Only a single management combination (one management action per biological phase) may be applied at a given site. 
  2. There are also some practical considerations to make before mapping out your management unit. The boundaries will remain constant throughout the management unit’s life in PAMF, so it may be helpful to consider if you will know where the bounds of your management unit are even as the Phragmites reduces over time.
  3. Management units must be a minimum of 10 meters wide to ensure all 5 monitoring quadrats fit within the area and to account for typical GPS device accuracy.
  4. There is no maximum size limit but choosing a site that is too large or too small may lead to some challenges when it comes time to monitor. As such, it is recommended that management units be limited to 5 acres maximum. 
  5. If you are managing a very large area, you may want to consider splitting up the large unit into smaller units. This can help with accessibility issues that come with trying to monitor a large area.
  6. Finally, if you are managing one large stand or many smaller stands, consider enrolling a smaller portion of your area as multiple management units that are representative of the larger areas you are managing.
Benefits of PAMF

  • Standardized monitoring protocol, scalable to different management areas
  • Receive annual summaries of your site’s progress
  • Contribute to the development of site-specific Best Management Practices (BMPs) that can be shared across the Great Lakes basin and throughout North America, and the data needed to generate the management guidance non-AAMP PAMF participants receive
  • Access a free database to store all Phragmites related information that is accessible from anywhere, at any time
  • Opportunities for additional collaboration with Phragmites managers in your area

Join PAMF

Anyone managing non-native Phragmites in the Great Lakes basin can participate in PAMF. Click the button below to get started! 

Questions?

Please contact: Samantha Tank, Great Lakes Commission at pamf@glc.org