Terrestrial Invasive Species
Invasive terrestrial species include plants such as trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and herbaceous plants, animals, such as mammals, reptiles, arachnids, birds, and nematodes; or pathogens (disease causing organisms) such as molds, fungus, bacteria and viruses.
Pennsylvania Sea Grant provides educational programs and resources to help public and private landowners and natural resource managers to identify and deal with terrestrial invasive species. Below you’ll gain access to a series of resources developed by Pennsylvania Sea Grant, available via download, by request, or in print. If you need help identifying a potentially invasive species, contact us.
Surveying and Managing Invasive Plant Species
Pennsylvania Sea Grant works with natural resource managers, state agencies, and individuals to share educational resources and to provide guidance and technical trainings to stop the spread of terrestrial invasive species.
In western Pennsylvania, Sea Grant works leads efforts and manages the five year plan of the “Lake Erie Watershed Cooperative Weed Management Area (LEW-CWMA).” The Pennsylvania Lake Erie watershed supports some of the most ecologically rich habitats in the state. Invasive species pose a great threat to the biological integrity of diverse ecosystems that intertwine within the region.
With over 11,600 acres of publicly owned and managed lands, proactive agency staff, and engaged Non-Governmental Organizations active within the watershed, the region has a great opportunity to work collectively to minimize the various threats posed by invasive species. The primary functions of the Lake Erie Watershed Cooperative Weed Management Area include the coordination of invasive species inventory, control, and education activities across the watershed. By prioritizing efforts, increasing the capacity of individual agencies and organizations and leveraging funding for various control efforts, the formation of the LEW-CWMA has proven to be an effective method to preserve the quality and diversity of the Lake Erie Watershed’s natural communities.
Activities of the partners in the LEW-CWMA include conducting annual plant inventories and the removal of invasive species. In 2022 invasive plant species were cleared from 393 acres of land and another 2,400 acres were surveyed. The survey is being used to identify and prioritize future needs. Since 2012, over 2,167 acres have been preserved through these efforts. This includes 2.6 miles of Lake Erie shoreline and 19.59 miles of streams, now conserved and open for public access through passive recreation such as fishing and walking. In total, the economic value of the effort is over $15 million.
Tom Cermak, Pennsylvania Sea Grant Outreach Specialist, manages the group’s five-year plan and says,
“These milestones of success are the result of dedicated partners who have invested hundreds of hours of their time over the past decade to ensuring that these Natural Heritage Areas are remain untainted by invasive species. Dealing with invasive species is unfortunately not a ‘once-and-done’ effort, it requires continual maintenance and dedicated resources to protect these spaces.”