Project: Times Beach Aquatic Plant Control

Craig Forgette from the Army Corps of Engineers shares more about the Times Beach Control Project.

What is the geographic scope of the project?

Time Beach Nature Preserve – 31 acres along Lake Erie

Type of project

  • Direct management (i.e. spraying, burning)
  • Research

Why is Phragmites an issue in your area?

Rapid expansion of this plant has devastated aquatic, wetland, and riparian habitats throughout the nature preserve.

What is your organization’s approach to invasive Phragmites management?

This is a five-year effort to adaptively manage Phragmites through a combination of mechanical and chemical control coupled with active restoration of native plant species.

Who are you partners in this effort?

USACE Engineer Research and Development Center, Erie County, Niagara River Remedial Action Plan (RAP), Buffalo-Niagara RIVERKEEPER, NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Friends of Times Beach.

What are the funding sources?

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding through the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center’s Aquatic Plant Control Research Program.

What are the goals and objectives for the project?

This project will identify and demonstrate new and improved management strategies against invasive aquatic plants, with benefits including reducing spread of such plants, improving wetland quality and function, restoring native wetland habitats, increasing plant and animal biodiversity, minimizing impacts to threatened and endangered wetland species, supporting the delisting of the Niagara River AOC, and adding 31 acres managed for populations of invasive species controlled to a target level under the Invasive Species Focus Area Measure 2.

What type of land does your project target? 

Times Beach is a nature preserve built on a former confined disposal facility built by USACE, Buffalo District. The land, currently emergent and forested wetlands, is comprised of sediment dredged from the Federal navigation channel in the Buffalo River and Buffalo Harbor from 1972 to 1976.

Do you monitor the areas that you manage? If so, what does that entail?

Yes. Assessments based on visual inspections in the spring and fall will be conducted to determine the extent of Phragmites remaining, and to determine a treatment plan for the upcoming year to adaptively manage the Phragmites.

What is the status of the program and are you seeing results?

The first management activities were conducted in the fall of 2012 and included mechanical removal of Phragmites and associated thatch.

Can you share information about challenges and lessons learned (both about what worked and what did not work)?

To be determined.  Work conducted and results of that work will be made available in the form of Corps Technical Notes/Reports.

Please provide any other information here.

Check out this September 30, 2014 article about the Times Beach restoration effort: Restoring Quality Habitat and Combating Invasive Plants at Times Beach

For additional information about the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center’s Aquatic Plant Control Program, click here or check out our recent posters: Times Beach Project Posters. You can also contact Craig Forgette, Buffalo District Project Manager.